Business Irish

Sunday 18 March 2018

Europe stocks fall from three-week high

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters

/Colm Kelpie

A retreat in miners, led by BHP Billiton after it cut its dividend, sent European stocks lower for the second time in three days.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.86pc, or 53.01 points, to end the trading day at 6,109.20.

The leaders on the Dublin market included food ingredients company Kerry Group, which increased 4.5pc to €74.17, while speciality baker Aryzta rose 0.7pc to €42.49.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included fruit company Fyffes, which slipped 2.5pc to €1.37, while Paddy Power slipped 2pc to €130.25.

Elsewhere, a 6.1pc drop in BHP dragged down a gauge tracking commodity producers, after Monday's surge to the highest level since December 3.

Standard Chartered fell 6.7pc after posting a surprise annual loss, while Hugo Boss tumbled 20pc after forecasting a profit drop this year. Deal activity lifted shares of stock exchanges.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 1.2pc at the close.

After briefly erasing losses earlier yesterday, it deepened losses in afternoon trading, tracking oil lower.

The equity gauge has been particularly volatile this year on concern over China's slowdown, disappointing earnings results and dissipating faith in central-bank support. It hasn't posted two consecutive days of gains since December.

"Earnings have been mixed," said Pierre Mouton, of Notz, Stucki & Cie in Geneva.

"I'm still concerned about cyclicals because the global picture hasn't changed. It has become normal to expect something from Central Banks, but they're running out of ammunition, and they will end up putting their credibility at risk."

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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