Thursday 18 January 2018

ISEQ down 5pc as global stocks tumble

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

The rout fuelled by concern over the strength of the economic recovery took European stocks to their lowest levels in more than a year, with Greek shares again suffering the most and Irish shares plunging by more than 5pc.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 5.36pc, or 325.77 points, to push the index below 6,000 to 5,749.94.

Bank of Ireland tumbled 10pc to 26 cents, while insulation group Kingspan dropped 10.6pc to €19.20.

Building materials group CRH fell 8.1pc to €21.14.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 3.5pc to 314.49 at 4.30pm in London and Greece's ASE Index plunged to its lowest level since 1990.

No industry or market in western Europe was spared. While Greek lenders extended a record low, banks in the region headed for their lowest levels since 2012.

With a 7.9pc plunge yesterday, Greece's ASE has once again become the year's worst performer of 93 global equity gauges tracked by Bloomberg.

The slides weren't limited to so-called peripheral regions, with Germany's DAX Index down 3.3pc, heading toward its lowest level since 2014.

"Investors can't make up their minds about the global economy, but the risk of recession and deflation is rising," said Francois Savary, the chief investment officer of Prime Partners, a Geneva-based investment manager.

"It's not enough that valuations have receded quite significantly and earnings haven't been too bad - sentiment is very low and there isn't much visibility right now. That's frightening."

Gauges of construction-related companies and banks posted the worst performances of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600. Lenders headed for their lowest close since 2012, led by Greece's Eurobank Ergasias and Alpha Bank.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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