Tuesday 24 April 2018

European bourses turn flat on raised inflation outlook

Traders look at share prices on their monitors at the Doha Stock Exchange in Doha, Qatar. Photo: Reuters
Traders look at share prices on their monitors at the Doha Stock Exchange in Doha, Qatar. Photo: Reuters

European shares turned flat late yesterday, mirroring a sell-off in German bonds, after the European Central Bank (ECB) raised its inflation forecasts and said it would look through any debt market volatility.

Main indices yielded early gains, while the euro rose broadly and German Bund yields soared after ECB president Mario Draghi said the bank would maintain a steady policy and look through bond market volatility.

Ireland's ISEQ Overall Index was 0.44pc, or 26.98 points higher at 6,197.27 by mid-afternoon.

Movers included shares in Ryanair, which were nearly 3pc higher at one stage yesterday as it released strong passenger traffic figures for May. By mid-afternoon, they had fallen back, but were still up 1.8pc.

Shares in CRH were 3pc higher at €25.42, while

Germany's DAX advanced 0.9pc, helped by a 1.2pc rise in Adidas after Fifa President Sepp Blatter said he would step down in the wake of a corruption scandal.

Adidas is a sponsor of football's global governing body and experts said Mr Blatter's resignation would be a major relief for the organisation's sponsors.

Spanish travel booking technology company Amadeus fell 9.3pc after German airline Lufthansa said it would levy a €16 surcharge on tickets not booked on its website. Analysts said there were concerns that others would want to do the same.

The FTSE-100 was 0.59pc higher at 6,969.49, while France's CAC-40 was edging towards the end of its trading day at 5,042.08, up 0.75pc.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.1pc at 1,573.90 points just after lunchtime, after trading as high as 1,586.92 points before Mr Draghi's comments.

"What people are slightly disappointed about is that it doesn't sound like Draghi wants to do more in the short term... (and) any rise in the euro will put pressure on equities," said Veronika Pechlaner, European fund manager at Ashburton.

"The only wording he used was that we should get used to periods of volatility, and in the market's terms, that's not good enough."

Greece's Athex index was up 4.4pc before talks between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pencilled in for yesterday, with traders saying there was a chance some accord could be found to stave off the latest threat of default.

"Overall there is still some optimism that a deal will be struck in the end but for now uncertainty is likely to continue," said Markus Huber, senior analyst at Peregrine & Black. (Reuters)

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