Monday 19 February 2018

European bourses fall on US rate concern

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters


European shares fell yesterday as weaker oil and metals prices put pressure on commodities stocks and concern mounted that US interest rates would be raised soon.

However, bank stocks rose, buoyed by the prospect of rising US rates. Minutes from the Federal Reserve's April meeting showed most of its policymakers thought a June increase would be appropriate if the US economy continued to improve.

"This more-than-expected hawkish tone from the minutes is sending European shares lower," said Stephane Ekolo, chief European strategist at Market Securities. "Except for the banking sector, a clear winner in case the Fed start raising rates sooner than what the market anticipated."

British travel stocks came under pressure after mid-cap Thomas Cook slumped 19pc to its lowest level since March 2013 after saying that summer bookings were down 5pc as tourists avoided Turkey.

"The fact that you're going to confess that you're going to have earnings at the bottom end of the range for the coming period is certainly going to keep investors rather cautious overall," Chris Beauchamp, senior market analyst at IG, said.

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index ended the session 0.62pc lower at 6,152.31.

Shares in Ryanair edged slightly higher to €13.18 despite yesterday's EgyptAir crash.

Bank of Ireland added 2.1pc to 24 cent on the back of the likelihood of that US rate increase. However, shares in Permanent TSB continued their losing streak, shedding 3.1pc to €1.84. They hit a low of €1.81 earlier. Insulation maker Kingspan added 3.1pc to €24.60, while hotel group Dalata rose 3.3pc to €4.64.

The UK's FTSE-100 fell 1.8pc, and Germany's DAX was 1.5pc lower. France's CAC-40 declined 0.8pc.

Irish Independent

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