Tuesday 24 April 2018

Back-to-back losses across EU

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

EUROPEAN stocks fell for a second day yesterday, their first back-to-back losses this month, as investors weighed up the German election result and monetary-policy statements from Federal Reserve officials.

National benchmark indexes dropped in all 18 western European markets except Greece and Iceland.

Irish stocks were no different. The ISEQ Overall Index closed down 0.29pc, or 12.55 points, to 4,253.71. Of the 45 companies listed on the index, just 10 saw their share price rise while 18 fell and 17 were static.

The biggest losses went to Ormonde Mining, which fell 5pc to 6c. Internet tech company Zamano was down 4pc to 1c while AIB shed 3pc to 9c and Bank of Ireland dropped 2pc to 2c.

Movers and shakers on the other end of the scale included Smurfit Kappa, whose share price rose by 4pc to €16.57. The company was buoyed by Friday's upward price announcement by another Italian independent paper and packaging producer, Pro-Gest.

Meanwhile, Donegal Investments rose 4c to €5 and baked- goods producer Aryzta was up by 1pc to €48.53.

Elsewhere in Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 lost 0.6pc while Germany's DAX slid 0.5pc. France's CAC 40 sank 0.8pc and the composite Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 0.5pc to 312.62 at the close of trading.

The gauge has still surged 9.7pc this quarter, on course for its biggest gain in four years.

"We're seeing a bit of volatility because the Fed is not communicating clearly and investors don't know where they stand," said Lampe Asset Management's Michael Woischneck.

"There's also uncertainty about which German government we'll get (after Sunday's national elections) and when, so I can understand a bit of profit-taking today," Mr Woischneck said.

In a bright spot for Ireland, the spread between the yield on benchmark German government bonds and their Irish counterparts dropped to a three-and-a-half-year low as the country's political uncertainty saw Germany's cost of borrowing rise.

Irish Independent

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