Wednesday 13 December 2017

Irish and European stocks decline

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

the ISEQ index of Irish shares lost almost 1.5pc yesterday, erasing much of the previous day's gains, to close at 6355.84.

The heavily weighted Bank of Ireland and CRH each lost heavily, with CRH down over 3pc, and Bank of Ireland losing over 3.5pc.

On its first day of trading Paddy Power Betfair closed at €139 - down from the €142.75 at which Paddy Power shares closed on Monday ahead of the merger.

On the other side of the board there was better news for food companies. Total Produce gained 3.68pc, Fyffes gained 3.41pc, and Aryzta gained 1.87pc.

European stocks declined as oil deepened a drop and investors weighed earnings from companies including BP and UBS Group.

Energy shares, miners and banks led declines in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. BP slid 8.7pc after its quarterly earnings sank 91pc, missing estimates. UBS lost 6.8pc after profit slumped at its wealth-management and investment-bank units.

"Oil prices are down and earnings in some particular sectors look rough," said Jasper Lawler, a London-based market analyst at CMC Markets. "This creates some weak sentiment. There was a hope the banks could lead this earnings season and that hasn't happened." The Stoxx 600 lost 2.1pc at the close of trading.

Anxiety about global growth has returned, after a two-week halt to the market sell-off sparked by China's slowdown and an oil rout. While central-bank optimism tempered losses toward the end of last month, the benchmark still had its worst start to a year since the financial crisis.

Around 90 companies report results this week, with analysts estimating profit at Stoxx 600 firms grew 0.7pc last year, and will increase 3.9pc in 2016.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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