Sunday 25 February 2018

Europe's bourses slide again on China data

Standard Life fell 5.1pc
Standard Life fell 5.1pc


European shares fell yesterday as underwhelming Chinese trade data knocked down mining stocks while Standard Life and Aegon slid on broker downgrades.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.9pc. The index, which is down by around 8pc so far in 2016, fell as much as 1.4pc earlier in the session to hit its lowest point since July 12. The Basic resources, Insurance and Bank indexes were the three biggest sectoral losers with a drop of more than 2pc.

Standard Life fell 5.1pc after Barclays cut the stock to "underweight" while insurer Aegon fell 5.9pc after Societe Generale cut it to a "hold" on worries over variable annuities in the United States.

Dutch navigation firm TomTom fell 7.8pc after it said sales of its personal navigation devices had been weaker than expected in the third quarter.

Mining stocks such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto took a hit after trade data from China, which is the world's biggest consumer of metals.

In Ireland, the Iseq Overall Index fell 0.26pc to 5,813.76.

Shares in ferry group Irish Continental fell 3.1pc to €4.02, while Bank of Ireland slid 2.3pc to just under 17 cent.

Smurfit Kappa was 1.5pc lower and Glanbia shed 2.7pc.

Meanwhile, the National Treasury Management Agency borrowed €1bn for 10-year bonds. Total bids received yesterday amounted to €2.010bn, which was twice the amount on offer. It takes the total borrowed this year to €7.5bn.

The bonds were sold at a yield of 0.495pc The UK's FTSE-100 lost 0.66pc, and Germany's DAX fell 1pc. France's CAC-40 was also down just over 1pc. Shares in Unilever and Tesco fell, with the two companies locked in a prices row.

Irish Independent

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