Thursday 14 December 2017

Europeans stocks fall back over Greece

A man points at market indices at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) in Tokyo. Photo: Reuters
A man points at market indices at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) in Tokyo. Photo: Reuters

Patrick Edwards

European stocks pared gains after the International Monetary Fund said that its team negotiating with Greece left Brussels after failing to make progress on a deal.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.6pc to 393 at the close of trading, after earlier rising as much as 1.2pc.

In Dublin, the ISEQ jumped 1.5pc to close at 6,246.02 points as financial stocks gained. Bank of Ireland closed up 3.5pc at 35.9 cent and AIB ended the session up 2.3pc at 8.8 cent. Heavyweight CRH closed up 2.9pc at €25.97.

Ryanair was little changed at €11.82 after another ruling on its Aer Lingus stake. Over in London, newbie Cairn Homes tacked on a further 1pc to close at 106 pence.

The main news was that the IMF cited "major differences" for the withdrawal of its team, although it left the door open for further debt talks. The decision comes amid increasing criticism from creditors at the Greek government's refusal to bow to their demands, risking a default and ultimately an exit from the euro area.

"European equities are good value, investors are more fearful then they should be," said John Haynes, head of research at Investec Wealth & Investment in London. "We are relaxed with the Greek risk and we will end the year higher than where we are now, which makes Europe a decent place to invest."

Greece's ASE Index closed up 8.2pc, the most among western-European markets, before the IMF's statement. Eurobank Ergasias, Piraeus Bank and National Bank of Greece jumped more than 16pc.

The Stoxx 600 rebounded from a six-day drop that took it to a three-month low on Tuesday. Even with lingering concerns over Greece, European Central Bank stimulus is providing a floor to drops as traders increasingly view them as buying opportunities. In past instances when the Stoxx 600 fell for six straight days, it ended in gains of more than 7.5pc in the following month.

Irish Independent

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