Friday 19 January 2018

European stocks fall on growth concerns

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the stock exchange in Frankfurt. Photo: Reuters
Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the stock exchange in Frankfurt. Photo: Reuters
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Concerns over the strength of the global economy took over once again yesterday, dragging European stocks down from a three-month high.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.4pc at the close of trading in London, paring losses of as much as 0.9pc. But the ISEQ Overall Index bucked the trend. By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ closed up 0.19pc, or 12.51 points, to end the trading day at 6,726.88.

The leaders on the Dublin market included building materials firm CRH, which increased 1.1pc to €27.39, while Dalata Hotel Group rose 1.9pc to €4.84. On the other side of the board, the laggards included speciality baker Aryzta, which dropped 2pc to €42.90, while Kerry Group fell 0.9pc to €72.75.

Conroy Gold was unchanged despite narrowing losses.

Elsewhere, miners fell with metals as the prospect of a US rate increase sent the dollar higher. "A strong dollar is a burden for the price development of commodities," said Christian Stocker, a strategist at UniCredit Bank in Munich.

"Materials or oil and gas are suffering from the weak environment of commodities."

The dollar advanced after John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said over the weekend that there was a "strong case" for a rate hike at the Fed's last meeting of 2015.

Greece's Index slid for a third day, with National Bank of Greece, Piraeus Bank and Eurobank Ergasias extending record lows as they seek to cover capital shortfalls.

The Stoxx 600 capped a three-month high last week, after Fed minutes indicated the US economy can withstand higher borrowing costs, and officials stressed increases will be gradual. Optimism for more stimulus from the European Central Bank also helped equities take their rebound since a September low after President Mario Draghi reiterated that it will do what's necessary to raise inflation.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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