Tuesday 17 July 2018

European investors are still twitchy

Passersby are reflected in an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Reuters
Passersby are reflected in an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Reuters

The continuing Catalonia political crisis and tomorrow's European Central Bank monetary policy meeting in Frankfurt made European investors twitchy yesterday, even as US stocks continued to climb.

Strong earnings results in the US boosted equities, bonds and the dollar. But Swiss drug maker Novartis helped to pull European stocks broadly lower as it said it's postponing a spin-off of its Alcon eye-care business, which could be worth as much as $25bn.

But while Novartis proved a drag on stocks, government bonds slumped and the euro strengthened after data showed that the eurozone's economy is maintaining momentum.

Apple supplier AMS jumped 22pc after reporting results. While third-quarter sales were just under expectations, analysts said strong fourth-quarter guidance offset the slight miss.

"With AMS shares down 15pc in the last month given concerns around the impact from iPhone X delays/constraints, we see solid Q4 guidance as a relief till we get more clarity on iPhone sell-in trends when Apple reports on November 2," Credit Suisse analysts said in a note.

Swedish mining company Boliden - which owns Tara Mines in Navan - disappointed investors with its trading update and fell 6.6pc, while defence firm Saab rose 4.4pc after it reported order bookings and profits above market forecasts.

The ISEQ Overall Index slipped 0.7pc to 6,777.93. Shares in Ryanair tumbled almost 2.4pc to €15.64 as pilot unrest at the airline continues. Bulmers maker C&C rose 1pc to €3.00. It releases results on Thursday. The UK's FTSE-100 was up 0.1pc near the close. Germany's DAX was 0.14pc higher and France's CAC-40 was up 0.21pc.

Reuters/Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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