Friday 24 November 2017

European stocks again amid Greek fears

Colm Kelpie/Bloomberg

European stocks fell for the fourth time in five days amid concern Greece may not reach an accord with creditors before a payment due next week.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.11pc or 7.31 points to end the trading day at 6,362.13.

The leaders on the Dublin market included insulation group Kingspan, which increased 0.7pc to €20.28, while food ingredients company Kerry Group rose 1.2pc to €68.80.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included shipping and transport group Irish Continental, which was down 2.8pc to €4.15 and speciality baker Aryzta, which slipped 1.5pc to €59.10.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.5pc to 406.83 at the close of trading, paring a drop of as much as 1pc. All but two of 19 industry groups slipped. The gauge is still heading for its best monthly advance since February. The Stoxx 600 extended a decline after an official said the International Monetary Fund believes Greece may need debt relief and is far apart from creditors on debt talks.

The country's government has said it's nearing a deal with creditors, fuelling a stock rally, only to have European officials rebuff those claims later at a meeting of the Group of Seven finance chiefs.

"The mixed messages are all part of the political game," Allan von Mehren, chief analyst at Danske Bank, said. "It means we can expect sentiment to swing back and forth until we really get to crunch time on Greece, and I don't think we'll get a deal until the very last day. Markets will be quite volatile as everyone tries to read the signals."

While Greece isn't on the G-7's official agenda, it has dominated policy makers' public comments, with a payment due to the IMF at the end of next week.

Failure to reach a deal may drive yields higher on other Eurozone government bonds, the European Central Bank said.

Irish Independent

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