Monday 17 December 2018

Facebook backlash lifts advertisers

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York

European shares fell slightly on Tuesday as a flurry of corporate results failed to lift indexes and Wall Street pulled back ahead of Wednesday's crucial data on US inflation.

Advertising agencies Publicis and WPP both rose more than 3.5pc.

Traders said their stocks were supported by news that Unilever had threatened to pull investment from digital platforms such as Facebook and Google that "create division" in society or fail to protect children.

The pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark index fell 0.6pc but remained above the near six-month low hit earlier this month, while the S&P 500 in the United States fell slightly.

A strong reading on US consumer prices could revive concerns over inflation and faster interest rate hikes - the same worries that sparked last week's sell-off in global equities.

"We are yet to build consensus around this rally and it could run into trouble if conviction is lacking," said Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital.

A flurry of corporate results yielded both positive and negative reactions.

The telecoms sector led sectoral fallers in Europe after Telenet reported 2017 results. The Belgian operator fell more than 5.5pc, the worst performer on the STOXX.

Shares in Gucci owner Kering slid 3.9pc, despite the luxury group reporting stronger-than-expected Q4 sales growth. Traders said Kering's comments on the euro hurt sentiment.

Rival LVMH lost 1.8pc.

In Dublin the Iseq closed up slightly, but bank shares and the wider financial markets weakened.

A recovery among commodities helped Britain's top share index outperform European peers on Tuesday.


Irish Independent

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