Business Irish

Sunday 25 February 2018

Shares drop as investors worry

MARKETS

Thomas Molloy

IRISH shares fell for a third day as several companies disappointed investors and shares elsewhere also tumbled.

The benchmark ISEQ Overall Index slid 15.74 points, or 0.5pc, to 2924.76.

The biggest decliners included UTV, which plunged 15pc to €1.40 despite news that finance director Norman McKeown bought 66,934 shares in the company on Monday.

Shares in Petroneft sank 11.8pc to 60c after the company issued a trading statement about its operation in Siberia.

Fellow explorer Aminex enjoyed differing fortunes as shares surged 13pc to 10c after the company announced plans for drilling a further exploration well in the Ruvuma Basin in Tanzania.

Bank of Ireland fell 5.6pc to 14c as investors continue to fret about the bank's plans to turn debt into equity in a bid to raise billions.

Elsewhere in Europe, the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index traded near a 10-week low, as losses in retail shares offset gains in utility companies.

National benchmark indexes declined in 10 of the 18 western European markets.

Germany's DAX Index added 0.3pc, while France's CAC 40 Index climbed 0.2pc. The UK's FTSE 100 Index rose less than 0.1pc.

Tesco and Home Retail Group fell as a report showed UK retail sales declined last month. Utilities posted the best performance among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600, gaining 1.2pc.

Mitchells & Butlers surged 3.8pc following a report that a group of Irish investors including JP McManus and John Magnier may bid for the pub and restaurant owner.

"Investors have probably overestimated risk in the last few days," said Matthias Jasper, the head of equities at WGZ Bank in Dusseldorf. "The overall picture for equities is still good, though we can expect more volatility in the coming weeks."

Greece's ASE Index lost 2pc, led by declines in OTE and banks. OTE plunged 6.2pc. Alpha Bank SA and National Bank of Greece SA sank 2.6pc and 4.1pc respectively.

Infineon Technologies rose 1.4pc as chief executive Peter Bauer said Europe's second-biggest chipmaker will increase its sales by more than 10pc a year in the long term, during a web cast of the company's investor day in Munich. He also forecast a margin of about 20pc in the long term.

International Paper, the world's largest pulp-and-paper maker, made a $3.31bn hostile takeover bid for Temple-Inland to expand its production of the containerboard used in shipping boxes.

Alstom advanced 1.5pc after saying it signed a €500m contract to build a power plant in Israel for Dalia Power Energies.

Irish Independent

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