Wednesday 21 February 2018

European shares fall on market jitters

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

European shares fell yesterday as a series of underwhelming earning updates, including from industrial giant Siemens, prompted investors to take profits out of a market still trading near two-year highs.

The pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark index fell 1.1pc, suffering its biggest daily loss since the end of June, while Germany's DAX fell 1.5pt.

In Dublin the Iseq was down 0.60pc at 6,921.40. Bank of Ireland fell 1.33pc after new CEO Francesca McDonagh said an additional 6,000 customers had been affected by the tracker mortgage scandal, forcing the bank to provision an additional €150m to €175m for potential costs.

Share in INM, which publishes this newspaper, fell sharply in Dublin after its second profit warning in four months.

Earnings before tax this year are now expected to be around €25m, compared to pre-summer estimates of €38m, analysts said yesterday.

Elswhere, the STOXX 600 is up 7.9pc so far this year following a rally that has been fuelled by a combination of strong economic data, solid earnings and easing political fears.

Earlier this month it climbed back to its highest since August 2015.

Following such a strong run traders said earnings needed to deliver strong positive surprises to justify further gains but yesterday a number of companies disappointed.

Siemens fell 3.7pc after the German engineer posted a worse than expected 10pc drop in quarterly industrial profit and signalled a tough year ahead as it restructures its turbine and wind power businesses. "The going is getting a bit harder at this stage," wrote Barclays analyst James Stettler, reiterating his "equal weight" rating on the stock.

(Additional reporting Reuters)

Irish Independent

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