Tuesday 12 December 2017

Markets: European stocks fall on Greece fears

Dermot Crowley, Dalata's Deputy CEO with Pat McCann, CEO
Dermot Crowley, Dalata's Deputy CEO with Pat McCann, CEO

Irish and European stocks edged lower yesterday as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reaffirmed his rejection of the country's international bailout programme.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index slipped 0.56pc or 31.55 points to end the trading day at 5,581.83.

The laggards on the Dublin market included Aer Lingus, which dropped 4.4pc to €2.11 amid a Bloomberg report that the Government was preparing to reject IAG's indicative offer to buy a 25pc stake in the airline.

Its rival Ryanair, which holds a near 30pc stake in Aer Lingus, closed down 2.8pc to €9.57.

On the other side of the board, the leaders included Providence Resources, which rose 1.3pc to 78 cents after it reached agreement on commercial terms on the farm-out of its Barryroe asset.

Dalata Hotel Group fell 1.4pc to €3.

Elsewhere, a drop in banks led European stocks lower, with concern growing over the political situation in Greece.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.7pc at the close of trading in London after dropping as much as 1.4pc. With a 1.6pc decline, lenders contributed the most to the gauge's retreat.

Greece's ASE Index lost 4.8pc as National Bank of Greece and Piraeus Bank slid more than 9.8pc. Spanish and Italian stock measures fell the most in the region after the Greek gauge.

"The word to describe the situation would be fear," said John Plassard, vice president at Mirabaud Securities in Geneva. Tsipras's speech "raises concerns of tensions and fears for the worst for Greek banks and European banks," he said.

Tsipras isn't backing down from pledges that would breach conditions of the bailout aid. He vowed to increase the minimum wage, restore the income tax-free threshold and halt infrastructure privatisations. His Sunday speech also included demands for World War II reparations from Germany and the repayment of forced loans Greece made to the Nazi regime during the country's occupation.

Irish Independent

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