Kerry and PTSB defy market weakness
European shares took a breather yesterday after closing at a four-year peak in the previous session, as a mixed bag of earnings reports and weak services sector data from the euro area weighed on sentiment.
AIB and Bank of Ireland shares were each down more than 3pc, following AIB's gloomier outlook after results on Tuesday.
Permanent TSB defied the fall. Shares were up 1.63pc after it reported financials including a 17pc lending boost in the three months to September 30.
The Iseq index of Irish shares was weaker on the day, led lower by bigger corporates.
Kerry bucked the trend, up 2.25pc after interim results and amid increased speculation a major merger with DuPont's nutrition arm could be in the works.
Elsewhere, Societe Generale shares rose 4.6pc to a six-month high after the bank said it had set aside three quarters of the cash needed to deliver a planned dividend payout this year.
The update helped power a 1pc rise in European bank stocks. The pan-European STOXX 600 index struggled for direction after rising about 0.1pc in early trading.
European shares have logged strong gains this week on growing optimism over a trade truce between the United States and China.
Fresh data yesterday showed Germany's services sector barely grew in October, while eurozone business activity expanded slightly faster than expected last month, but remained close to stagnation.
"There is a little bit of a holding pattern after the optimism we saw on the trade front and the effect is just slowly wearing off," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG Group.
"There is also a nagging sense that maybe this market has moved too fast too quickly, so we could just move lower on some short-term weakness."
The European retail sector gained after better-than-expected earnings from Marks & Spencer and Dutch supermarket operator Ahold Delhaize.
Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut fell 4pc after reporting a slowdown in its most recent quarter, while Italy's postal service provider, Poste Italiane, dropped 1.2pc due to a lacklustre performance of its mail and parcel business.
Shares in Norwegian Air fell 9pc after its third share issue in less than two years late on Tuesday.