Business Irish

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Transport shares down as tensions rise

ECB president Mario Draghi warns geopolitical risks could hurt the economic recovery.
ECB president Mario Draghi warns geopolitical risks could hurt the economic recovery.

European stocks fell to their lowest level in more than three-and-a-half months as European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi warned that geopolitical risks in countries such as Ukraine could hurt the economic recovery.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was, by contrast, little changed, slipping 0.2pc or 7.85 points to end the trading day at 4550.54.

The leaders on the Dublin market included Kerry Group, which rose 3.2pc to €55.07 after the company said it overcame currency movements and a weak consumer market to report higher profits for the first six months of the year.

Providence Resources was up 6.5pc to €1.36 after announcing it had secured an extension to the exploration phase of one of its licences.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included Aer Lingus, which slipped 3.4pc to €1.27 while Irish Continental Group fell 3.2pc to €2.60.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 0.7pc at the close of trading, for a second day of declines.

The benchmark posted its first back-to-back monthly losses in two years in July as the crisis in Ukraine escalated. The measure has fallen 6.5pc from a six-year high on June 10.

The European Central Bank held its benchmark rate at 0.15pc yesterday. Shares declined after Mario Draghi said the risks to the recovery from conflicts including that in Ukraine are increasing.

National benchmark indexes declined in 16 of 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 Index fell 0.6pc, France's CAC 40 slid 1.4pc, and Germany's DAX dropped 1pc.

"There is still uncertainty," said Soeren Steinert of Quoniam Asset Management in Frankfurt.

"We've seen disappointing results and disappointing macro-economic numbers from Germany. People are cautious about taking new positions."

Munich Re slipped 2.3pc. Adidas lost 4.5pc after cutting its profit forecast for 2014.

Irish Independent

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