European stock markets fall amid China concerns
At home, all eyes were Michael Noonan's Budget yesterday, but it was a choppy day for European stock markets as Chinese trade data pointed to continued weakness in the country's economy.
China's exports fell less than expected in September but a sharper fall in imports left economists divided over whether the country's ailing trade sector is showing signs of turning around. The data was not enough to suggest a greater risk of a hard landing, but it did feed expectations that Beijing will cut interest rates again soon and announce other measures to avert a sharper economic slowdown.
The big corporate news of the day was that SABMiller accepted a takeover proposal from Anheuser-Busch, which set out a cash-and-share package currently worth about £69bn (€92bn).
In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index bucked the downward trend of other European bourses, closing 0.3pc, or 18.10 points higher, at 6,151.14. Bank of Ireland fell 1.4pc to 34 cent as Michael Noonan said the bank levy will be extended to 2021.
But other shares ticked up, with Ryanair adding 1.7pc to €12.82 and Kingspan rising 1.8pc to €20.66.
Hotel group Dalata added 2.3pc to €4.40 after it confirmed it's buying the Clarion Hotel in Cork for €35m.
Shares in packaging giant Smurfit Kappa declined 1.6p to €23.70.
Also of Irish interest, Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm AerCap said that it delivered $350m worth of aircraft to customers during the third quarter.
The UK's FTSE-100 fell 0.45pc. Germany's DAX was down 0.86pc and France's CAC-40 was almost 1pc lower.
Weaker-than-expected UK inflation and German investor sentiment reports also pushed bond yields lower.