Wednesday 13 December 2017

European stocks deepen their decline

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

European stocks posted their biggest back-to-back drop since January as investors continued to retreat amid the turmoil surrounding US President Donald Trump.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.39pc, or 26.59 points, to end the trading day at 6,868.25. The leaders on the Dublin market included packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, which rose 0.3pc to €24.51, while insulation group Kingspan increased 1pc to €31.09.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included Paddy Power Betfair, which fell 0.7pc to €98, while Dalata Hotel Group dropped 0.5pc to €4.91.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.5pc at the close, pushing the two-day decline to 1.7pc. Equities slid amid a report that Trump's campaign advisers may have had at least 18 previously undisclosed contacts with Russia.

The VStoxx Index of euro-area stock volatility rose yesterday, taking its two-day advance to 26pc.

On the currency front, the dollar pared its drop for the week as traders balanced global political developments against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and a broad decline in equities.

The greenback, which trimmed its weekly decline to about 1pc, rose overnight after a special prosecutor was named to investigate Trump campaign officials' dealings with Russia.

Garret Grogan of Bank of Ireland's global markets team said the fallout from the firing of FBI chief James Comey has been a driver of this dollar weakness this week, but it is by no means the only factor.

"While political risk is increasing in the US, for the euro area it is at its most benign in several years now that the French election is behind us," he said.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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