Sunday 21 January 2018

Another poor show for 'Big Two'

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

IRISH shares closed down yesterday with a second poor showing for the 'Big Two' banks.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index slipped 1.48pc or 58.74 points to end the trading day at 3907.10.

The Dublin index dropped on opening and failed to recover throughout the day.

Bank of Ireland was among the main laggards, dropping 7pc to €0.16, following on from its 5pc loss on Monday in the wake of the report from global ratings agency Fitch warning that significant risks remained in the Irish banking sector.

Allied Irish Bank also slipped 7pc to close €0.07. Packaging giant Smurfit Kappa was also among the losers, dropping 2.3pc to finish at €11.47.

On the other side of the board, Independent News & Media led the leaders, increasing 3pc to 3c after confirming that a deal with debtors is on track.

Speciality baker Aryzta increased 1.3pc to €43.55, following a decline on Monday, while drug company Elan had another good day, rising 0.2pc to €10.15.

Elsewhere, European stocks retreated for a second day as the Bank of Japan refrained from expanding stimulus and treasuries sank amid speculation the Federal Reserve will trim bond purchases.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.2pc to 291.74 at the close of trading, as Germany's top court began hearings on the ECB's Outright Monetary Transactions programme.

National benchmark indexes dropped in all 18 western European markets yesterday. France's CAC 40 lost 1.4pc while Germany's DAX declined 1pc and the UK's FTSE 100 fell 0.9pc.

"There is a big amount of uncertainty in the market," said Peter Buergler, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank AG in Lucerne, Switzerland.

"Some of it is still connected to the fear of stimulus being reduced by the Federal Reserve, and some of it is connected to the federal court hearings in Germany.

"The BOJ (Bank of Japan) also disappointed today. All of this is a bit too much for market participants, so they are taking a step back."

Legrand retreated 4.1pc after Wendel sold the remaining 14.4 million shares it holds in the world's largest maker of switches, plugs and lighting controls.

UK company ICAP dropped 3.6pc after Credit Suisse Group recommended selling the shares.

Australian multi-national mining and petroleum company BHP Billiton led a gauge of mining companies to the lowest level since 2009 as copper dropped for a fourth day.

Norwegian oil and gas company DNO International surged to a five-year high.

On the other side of the Atlantic, US stocks tumbled after news from Japan that it was holding its monetary policy steady.

Irish Independent

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