Tuesday 23 January 2018

Fears over Chinese economic moves spark ISEQ decline

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

IRISH shares fell in tandem with their European counterparts yesterday as investors fretted that China will take more steps to cool its economy and as Moody's said the US and Britain are closer to losing their AAA credit ratings.

The ISEQ benchmark slid 32.38, or 1.1pc, to 3,024.92 as 15 out of 18 exchanges in western Europe declined.

Allied Irish Banks fell 3.4pc to €1.40, while Bank of Ireland was down 1.6pc at €1.21 on renewed concern about the value of the loans transferring to the National Asset Management Agency.

Shares in Aryzta were up 2pc at €28.70 after the food company reported first-half underlying net profit growth of 1.1pc to €73.8m.

Smurfit Kappa was down 3.2pc to €6.15 after a downbeat report by Goodbody's Robert Eason downgraded full-year EBITDA forecasts by 9pc to €790m, although the analyst's medium-term view of Smurfit Kappa remained unchanged.

Tullow fell 1.8pc to €13.90 after press coverage in Namibia suggested a deal between the African country's state-owned oil company and Gazprom over a project in which Tullow has a stake.


Elsewhere in Europe, basic-resource stocks fell, with BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, leading a gauge of basic-resource producers to the biggest decline among 19 industry groups as metals fell.

Wolseley, the world's biggest supplier of heating and plumbing products, and Scor, France's largest reinsurer, retreated more than 1pc as analysts downgraded the shares.

"We had a good move to the upside last week and the market is taking a breather today to evaluate whether the move was justified," said Philipp Musil, a fund manager at Semper Constantia Privatbank in Vienna, Austria. "That China could take money out of the market is also weighing on sentiment. We need a new catalyst from earnings or economic data."

Q-Cells, a German solar-cell maker, gained 2.5pc after Germany said it would postpone cuts in solar-power subsidies for ground-based systems by three months.

Norway's Renewable Energy Corp increased 2.2pc.

Britain's BT Group rose 1.1pc after Citigroup upgraded the UK's largest fixed-line phone company to 'buy' from 'hold'.

Irish Independent

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