Thursday 22 February 2018

Banks, Volkswagen weigh on European markets

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City. Photo: Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City. Photo: Reuters

European stock markets trended down yesterday as banking stocks and Volkswagen retreated.

Shares in the UK were hit after a new poll ahead of this month's crunch Brexit referendum. It showed that more people there are in favour of leaving the EU than remaining in it.

Widespread selling for sterling and an immediate flight to safety signifies the fact that markets have been caught napping with an overconfidence that every poll would come out in favour of the 'remain' campaign," said Joshua Mahony, a market analyst at IG.

The pan-European STOXX 600 and FTSEurofirst 300 indices were both down by around 0.6pc, although they were on track for their third consecutive month of gains and their best month since last November.

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index dipped 0.3pc to 6,481.70.

Property stocks took a hit, with Green REIT down 2.5pc to €1.45. Both Hibernia REIT and IRES REIT also slipped slightly.

Total Produce shed 3pc to €1.61, while Irish Continental advanced 2.9pc to €5.40 and said it had ordered a new €144m ferry that will be delivered in 2018.

The UK's FTSE-100 fell 0.6pc. Germany's DAX was down 0.68pc, and France's CAC-40 lost 0.53pc.

The UK mining index fell 1.5pc as copper prices declined on a resurgent dollar following increasing expectations of a US interest rate hike.

VW fell 1.7pc and was weighing on rivals such as BMW and Renault. VW posted a surprise increase in first-quarter operating profit, as the carmaker pushes ahead with steps to overcome its diesel emissions scandal. The STOXX 600 Bank sector index was down 1.3pc.


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