Thursday 18 April 2019

European bourses fall despite M&A deals

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell


Weak energy and financials stocks sent European shares down yesterday after a strong run of weekly gains, while dealmaking livened up trading with Portugal's EDP and Britain's IWG both surging higher on takeover offers.

Oil stocks weighed on the market as crude prices fell away from multi-year highs due to a surge in US drilling activity and resistance in Europe and Asia to US sanctions against Iran.

M&A dominated trading, continuing a trend which has set 2018 up to be one of the strongest-ever years for dealmaking volumes.

Healthcare stocks were the best-performing, following a rally in US pharma on Friday after investors found President Trump's speech on drug prices less harmful than expected for pharma companies' business models.

"We see limited impact from Trump's blueprint on drug pricing," said Credit Suisse analysts, but warned that uncertainty will persist until US mid-term elections.

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index was one of the few European bourses in the black yesterday. It edged above the 7,000-mark, closing 0.7pc higher at 7,010.48.

Shares in gambling group Paddy Power Betfair surged almost 12pc, or €9.60, to €90 as the US Supreme Court threw out a 1992 law that bans sports gambling.

Bank of Ireland slipped slightly to €7.45. It said that the EU's Single Resolution Board and Bank of England have set binding minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL) at 12.86pc of December 2016 levels. Bank of Ireland said that was in line with expectations and funding plans.

The FTSE-100 fell 0.18pc. Germany's DAX was also 0.18pc lower and France's CAC-40 was flat.

Irish Independent

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