Wednesday 21 August 2019

European stocks little changed

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

Bloomberg and Colm Kelpie

European stocks ended the day little changed as investors weighed further signs of a slowdown in China's economy and the view that America's recovery is strong enough to cope with a Federal Reserve interest rate increase this year.

By the close in Dublin the ISEQ Overall Index was little changed, up just 0.08pc or 5.46 points to end the trading session at 6,533.79.

The leaders on the Dublin market included insulation group Kingspan, which increased 3.6pc to €24.20, while bookmakers Paddy Power rose 1.4pc to €107.70.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, which slipped 1.5pc to €26, while speciality baker Aryzta dropped 1.2pc to €42.20.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.1pc to 376.27 at the close of trading, after earlier falling as much as 0.7pc and rising 0.4pc. After rebounding 12pc from its September low through the end of last week, the gauge halted its rally.

With Friday's US jobs data increasing the chances of the Fed raising interest rates this year, investors are speculating on whether the global economy can continue its recovery, while China data keeps disappointing.

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi has pledged that the ECB will consider increasing stimulus at its December meeting.

"People are looking at the data and trying to second guess what central banks are going to do," said Ben Kumar, of Seven Investment Management in London.

"We're not looking long-term, we're looking at how this most recent data point is going to affect the December meetings. But if we move sideways through the last weeks to the end of the year and end up here, the market will be up about 10pc for the year."

Portuguese stocks were among the worst performers in western Europe. The PSI 20 Index slid as much as 2.3pc, before paring losses to 0.3pc.

Irish Independent

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