Wednesday 13 December 2017

Europe's markets holding steady

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

With US markets closed yesterday for Martin Luther King Day, stock market action on this side of the Atlantic was more subdued than usual.

The biggest surprise of the day was from Deutsche Bank, which posted an unexpected fourth-quarter loss.

In China, GDP growth slowed to a 14-year low but the 7.7pc rate in 2013 still beat official government estimates.

"It's reassuring to see markets holding steady in Europe, even after the move down in Asia and the disappointing comments from Deutsche Bank," said Alex Neil, head of equity and derivatives trading at EFG Bank in Geneva.

"If investors get behind the brave new world of decorrelation, there is still upside to many European stocks. And this will help us ride out some of the background risks, such as falling euro inflation and a Chinese slowdown."

In Ireland the ISEQ Overall Index was barely changed yesterday, slipping just 4.93 points to 4,826.25.

Among the most significant movers was exploration firm Providence Resources.

Its shares fell just over 11pc even as it tried to scotch speculation that farm-out talks related to its Barryroe prospect may be going slower than planned.

Shares in home builder Abbey climbed 3.7pc to €10.89. The stock has risen 60pc in the past year.

Smurfit Kappa gained 1.6pc, or 30c yesterday, to close the session at €19.11. That's a new high for the packaging group.

Paddy Power advanced 1.1pc, or 71c, to €61.71; while investment group TVC, the single biggest shareholder in media group UTV, rose 2.8pc to 74 cent.

National benchmark indices fell in 11 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 added 0.1pc. Germany's DAX slid 0.3pc. France's CAC 40 lost 0.1pc.Deutsche Bank fell 5.4pc to €37.21.

The lender posted a pre-tax loss of €1.15bn in the fourth quarter because of €528m in litigation-related expenses, costs tied to its reorganisation and charges to adjust valuations. It been expected to make a €628m profit.

Irish Independent

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