Sunday 25 February 2018

European stocks fall as investors await latest US jobs data

Bank of Ireland headquarters in Dublin
Bank of Ireland headquarters in Dublin

EUROPEAN stocks were down by mid- afternoon yesterday as investors awaited a glut of economic data from the US.

By early afternoon in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was little changed, falling fractionally by 0.03pc, or 1.54 points, to 4404.44.

The leaders in Dublin included Bank of Ireland, which recovered after a negative start, rising 0.4pc to 27 cents. The bank announced yesterday that it will begin repaying the money from its bailout back to the State.

While Bank of Ireland rose, Allied Irish Banks slipped 3.3pc to 12 cents by early afternoon. Other leaders included bookmakers Paddy Power, which increased 2.3pc to €57.62, while food ingredients company Kerry Group was up 0.74pc to €47.40.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included agri-services firm Origin, which slipped 2.3pc to €6.93 after it announced that its chief financial officer will be leaving next July. Fruit company Fyffes was also down 2.4pc to 82 cents, while Glanbia fell 1.9pc to €10.89.

Elsewhere, European stocks declined for a fourth day, their longest losing streak in more than five months. The euro area's nascent recovery from a record-long recession nearly stalled in the third quarter, according to figures released yesterday by the European Union's statistics office in Luxembourg.

Gross domestic product rose 0.1pc after a 0.3pc gain in the previous three months.

That was in line with Eurostat's initial estimate. From a year earlier, the economy contracted 0.4pc

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.2pc to 318.36 at 11:56 am in London.

The benchmark fell 1.5pc on Tuesday as investors weighed valuations before US jobs data this week.

The UK's FTSE 100 was down 0.7pc at 1.28pm, France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX were each down 1.2pc.

Colm Kelpie

Irish Independent

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