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CRH leads Irish stocks lower, ISEQ closes 0.9pc down

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Irish stocks fell while European stocks were little changed as disappointing Chinese economic data offset gains amid mergers-and-acquisitions activity.

In Dublin, the ISEQ closed down 0.9pc at 4,859.51 points as CRH tumbled more than 2pc. The building materials group, which is one the biggest companies on the exchange, closed down 2.2pc to €18.15 amid concern the global economy is slowing. Oil fell for the same reason. Aer Lingus slipped 2.1pc at €1.42 as the airline begins serious negotiations with staff over pensions. On the plus side, tiny explorer Aminex jumped 50pc to 2.7 cents following positive noises from the company last week.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.1pc to 343.91 at the close in London, after earlier losing as much as 0.4pc. The benchmark gauge slid 1pc last week, the first loss since early August, as investors considered central-bank stimulus policies and opinion polls before a Scottish referendum this week.

"China has stirred up more growth concerns for equity markets," said Daniel Weston, a portfolio manager at Aimed Capita in Munich. "Energy has been a perplexing trade for investors weighing up geopolitical supply concerns and growth-led demand weakness. The growth landscape is a greater concern compared to the acute M&A announcements."

Brewers SABMiller added 9.8pc, and Heineken rose 1.3pc after the brewer of Amstel Light confirmed that it turned down SABMiller's offer and said it intends to remain independent. Heineken Holding, the vehicle with which the founding family controls the brewer, gained 3pc to €54.57.

TUI Travel added 1.6pc to 365.7 pence in London, and TUI gained 0.3pc to €11.05. The companies agreed on an all-share transaction in their planned merger that will value the combined entity at €6.5bn. (See page 33)

H&M advanced 2.4pc after Europe's second-biggest clothing retailer reported a 16pc gain in third-quarter sales. Air France-KLM Group slid 3.3pc after saying it expects its most disruptive strike since 1998. The dispute will cost €20m a day in revenue, it said.

Irish Independent