Friday 23 February 2018

European stocks end three-day advance

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 ended the session little changed after three days of gains, weighed down by declines in oil-and-gas shares and lenders.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.28pc, or 18.48 points, to end the trading session at 6,733.22.

The leaders on the Dublin index included drinks group C&C, which increased 0.7pc, while dairy company Glanbia rose 0.7pc to €18.39.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, which was down 0.8pc to €25.30, while Bank of Ireland slipped 0.8pc to 24 cent.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.2pc at the close.

Energy firms posted the biggest losses, falling for the first time in four days and tracking crude prices lower.

Deutsche Bank fell 3.7pc to the lowest this year after saying it will raise €8bn by selling stock at a 35pc discount to last week's closing price. The Stoxx 600 climbed last week, boosted by investor relief over the defeat of the populist party in the Dutch elections and the Federal Reserve's decision to raise rates while maintaining its previous forecast for the pace for future increases.

Among other shares active on corporate news, Hansteen Holdings Plc rose 1pc after gaining as much as 7pc earlier as a Blackstone Group LP and M7 Real Estate Ltd venture agreed to acquire its continental European properties.

On the currency front, the pound fell, reversing earlier gains after the UK said it will trigger the process to leave the European Union on March 29.

Sterling dropped 0.23pc to the day's low of $1.2367, erasing a previous advance of as much as 0.3pc. A pickup in dollar demand as trading started in New York also weighed on the pound.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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