Saturday 21 April 2018

European stocks down for second day

A trader on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters
A trader on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters

Colm Kelpie and Bloomberg

European stocks fell for a second day as some disappointing earnings reports cast doubt on the strength of the Eurozone economic recovery, amid weak commodity and oil prices.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 1.4pc, or 90 points, to end the trading day at 6,388.78.

The leaders on the Dublin market included bookmakers Paddy Power, up 0.3pc to €103.15, while Donegal Investments jumped 2.1pc to €5.35. On the other side of the board, the laggards included speciality baker Aryzta, which slipped 3.6pc to €41.92, while building materials company CRH dropped 2.8pc to €24.27. Drinks group C&C was down 2.8pc to €24.27.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 1.1pc to 371.88 at the close of trading. Shares on Monday snapped a two-day rally, falling from a two-month high, amid speculation about the strength of economies in Europe, Asia and the US.

"It is going to be difficult to turn more positive on the energy sector until we see depressed and declining trends in profitability turn around more visibly, trends that have been in place since long before last year's collapse in oil prices," said William Hobbs, head of investment strategy at Barclays wealth-management unit in London.

"Commodity prices have been softer and these stocks haven't participated in the rally as much as other sectors either."

Total and Royal Dutch Shell slid at least 1.9pc, contributing the most to a drop in energy stocks. Novartis pulled healthcare shares down, falling 1.6pc after reporting profit that missed estimates and agreeing to pay $390m to settle claims that it paid kickbacks to some US pharmacies. Anglo American was among the biggest mining decliners. Chemical producer BASF dragged chemical shares lower, losing 4.7pc after cutting its targets for sales and profit this year.

Irish Independent

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