Friday 23 March 2018

Fears over US budget send EU bourses into retreat

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A better-than-expected rise in European consumer confidence this month wasn't enough to keep European bourses in positive territory yesterday.

Fears over the US budget impasse weighed on EU and American stocks, amid concerns that a failure to solve the impending crisis could dramatically cut US economic growth.

"With eurozone economic sentiment continuing to turn up, the risk of a near-term relapse in economic activity is clearly dwindling," said Martin van Vliet, an economist at ING Bank in Amsterdam.

"However, with ongoing private-sector deleveraging in many eurozone countries, and the ongoing deleveraging by governments (albeit at a slowing pace), the pace of recovery remains below escape velocity."

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index was barely changed, but slipped nonetheless, as it did on Thursday. By the close of business yesterday, it was 0.42pc, or 17.94 points lower at 4,240.76.

Investment firm TVC regained much of the ground it had lost on Thursday, advancing 7.1pc, or 4 cent, to 60 cent.

Donegal Creameries, finished up 2.5pc at €4.90. But other food and drink companies struggled. Kerry continued its decline, shedding 1.6pc, or 75 cent, to €44.50. C&C fell 2.6pc, or 11 cent, to €4.02.

Ryanair lost 1.1pc to enter the weekend at €6.34 while recruitment business CPL fell 1.6pc to €5.90.

National benchmark indices retreated in 13 of the 18 western-European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 fell 1pc, Germany's DAX lost 0.1pc and France's CAC 40 Index slipped 0.1pc. Italy's FTSE MIB slid 1.3pc. Italy's government bonds fell as the nation auctioned €6bn of debt maturing in 2018 and 2024.

Countrywide dropped 5.4 to 515 pence. Private equity group Alchemy Partners is selling a 5.9pc stake in the UK's largest property broker, according to Bloomberg. Shares are being sold through an accelerated bookbuild.

Vestas added 4.5pc to 139.10 kroner, paring earlier gains of as much as 13pc. Mitsubishi Heavy and the Danish turbine maker agreed to establish a venture to develop offshore wind energy.

Telekom Austria advanced 2.7pc to €6.09. The phone company part-owned by Carlos Slim's America Movil is heading for its biggest weekly gain since 2009 amid speculation that the Mexican billionaire may take full control.

Irish Independent

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