Business Irish

Monday 21 May 2018

European stocks fall amid drop in oil and disappointing US data

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

European shares declined for a fifth day in volatile trading as investors assessed earnings, oil prices erased gains, and some US wage data disappointed.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index closed down 1.23pc, or 75.61 points, to end the trading week at 6,075.71.

The leaders on the Dublin index included packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, which increased 1.1pc to €19.74, while drinks group C&C rose 0.7pc to €6.70.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included Kerry Group, which slipped 2.7pc to €72.69, while insulation group Kingspan fell 4pc to €21.48.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx 600 slid 0.9pc to 325.9 at the close of trading. The measure swung between gains and losses more than 25 times, slipping as much as 1pc and rising 0.6pc. It posted a 4.8pc weekly decline. A gauge tracking equity swings has jumped 36pc this year as the Stoxx 600 has lost about 11pc, with concern about bad loans at banks adding to worries about an oil rout and China's economy.

"People are seeing the negative effects of the lower prices and still waiting to see the positive," said William Hobbs, head of investment strategy at Barclays' wealth-management unit in London.

"Until we see evidence of better consumption it's likely equity markets will be correlated with the oil price and that suggests volatility. Earnings aren't confirming people's worst fears, but they are a bit choppy." Investors also looked to a US report on January employment for indications of the sturdiness of the American economy and the trajectory of interest rates in the wake of this year's turmoil.

Payrolls increased by 151,000 last month, official figures showed yesterday. The jobless rate fell to 4.9pc, the lowest level since February 2008.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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