Business World

Monday 19 February 2018

Euro-rescue delay prompts fall-back

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: Getty Images
German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: Getty Images

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares fell back yesterday, as markets waited warily for European plans to resolve the eurozone crisis.

By the close of trading the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.81pc, or 21.1 points, at 2,599.18.

The index lurched into a loss at the opening before recovering in mid afternoon. As word filtered out the German chancellor Angela Merkel had cancelled a planned speech to parliament in Berlin today because of a deadlock over proposals to leverage the European Financial Stability Facility to give it more firepower, the selling began once again.

In percentage terms, Irish Life & Permanent was the main laggard, falling 9.06pc.

Miners endured a difficult day, with Ormonde Mining closing down 7.77pc. Kenmare Resources slumped 5.83pc.

Among the major stocks, CRH was little changed, with traders in a holding pattern for most of the session. Ryanair closed off 0.96pc but Aryzta fell steeply, dropping 3.69pc to €32.60. Elan closed off 3.58pc.

European stocks declined the most in two weeks amid concern the euro area's leaders are far from agreeing on a plan to end the region's debt crisis.

National benchmark indices fell in 16 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 dropped 1.2pc, France's CAC 40 retreated 2.3pc and Germany's DAX slipped 2.5pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 slid 1.5pc.


"The markets demand a solution now," said Ben Hauzenberger, a Zurich-based fund manager at Swisscanto Asset Management.

Euro-area leaders are scheduled to meet on October 23, with disagreement over the European Central Bank's role threatening to hinder progress.

The German government hasn't excluded postponing the summit because of stalling negotiations.

Nokia rallied 5.5pc after the Finnish maker of mobile phones reported a smaller-than-estimated loss and forecast a profitable quarter for the handset business.

Ericsson, the world's largest maker of wireless network equipment, rose four percent after saying third-quarter net income had topped estimates.

Argos owner Home Retail Group climbed 3.9pc after a report showed UK retail sales unexpectedly rose 0.6pc in September, the most in five months. Debenhams, which reported better-than-estimated earnings, advanced 7.7pc.

Mining companies retreated as copper and zinc led a decline among base metals.

Rio Tinto, the world's second-largest mining company, lost 3.9pc. Xstrata declined 3.3pc and Vedanta Resources slid 3.6pc. Anglo American also retreated, falling four percent, as the company said third-quarter copper output decreased nine percent.

Irish Independent

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