Sunday 21 January 2018

Fears of industrial action lead to decline in shares

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares fell yesterday, as possibility of industrial action in the aviation sector combined with the ongoing European crisis continue to weigh on the market.

By the close of trading yesterday, the ISEQ Overall Index had slipped 6.18 points, or 0.2pc, to 3,023.18.

It was a miserable day for the Dublin market, with 19 stocks falling and 12 gaining during the session.

Media stocks were hit for differing reasons. Independent News & Media, the parent of this newspaper, slid 19.6pc to 20c. David Reid-Scott resigned as a director on Tuesday, leaving three directors on the INM board -- that is below the minimum required.

Belfast-based media group UTV dropped 7.25pc to €1.60. The company is said to have bid for a number of radio stations in the UK but questions have been raised as to whether the acquisition would be in line with the company's strategy of reducing its debts.

Aer Lingus dropped 3.1pc to 93c. Unions at the former national carrier are set to ballot members for strike action over an ongoing pension issue.

Providence Resources led the market in percentage terms, rising 4.26pc to €6.36, while illmenite miner Kenmare Resources edged up 2.68pc to 54c.

Commodity plays were one of the few sectors to make positive moves yesterday, as oil recovered some earlier losses. Brent Crude moved above $97 (€77), while most precious metals gained.

Away from Ireland, the macro issues took centre-stage once again.


European stocks declined as borrowing costs increased at debt auctions in Germany and Italy.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.4pc, while national benchmark indices fell in 11 of the 18 markets in western Europe.

France's CAC 40 lost 0.6pc, the UK's FTSE 100 rose 0.2pc, and Germany's DAX fell 0.1pc.

SKF tumbled 7.3pc in Stockholm, its biggest decline since August, after the Swedish engineering company reported "slightly lower" demand for its products and services.

Renault led a sell-off by carmakers, falling 4.2pc as the company said that it expected "three to four more years of stagnation" in Europe's auto industry.

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