Business World

Friday 15 December 2017

Food the only bright spot in slump

Thomas Molloy

IRISH shares fell in tandem with shares elsewhere in Europe yesterday. In Dublin, two stocks declined for every one that rose, with food proving to be the only bright spot.

On the continent, Germany's Commerzbank slumped 15pc on a report that the lender may need more capital. Nokia dropped 8.8pc amid concern the company has shipped fewer smartphones than estimated.

The ISEQ closed down 11.73 points, or 0.5pc, at 2,543.36 -- the fourth session in a row where shares declined.

Irish Life & Permanent was down 8.6pc, at 3 cent, as Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns of the High Court said he would hear a court case next week by some shareholders against the Government's plans to take control of the lender.

Allied Irish Banks, which named David Duffy as chief executive, sank 8.2pc to 7 cent.

Petroceltic posted the largest decline, tumbling 13pc to 8 cent as hopes of an agreement between the governments in Kurdistan and Iraq dwindled.

Food firms bucked the trend. Greencore rose 1.4pc to 72 cent, while Kerry was up 1pc at €25.10.

European stocks declined, extending their biggest drop in three weeks as rising borrowing costs outweighed rating companies' reaffirmation of America's credit grades.

National benchmark indices retreated in all of the 18 markets in western Europe. France's CAC 40 Index slipped 0.8pc, Germany's DAX Index lost 1.2pc and the UK's FTSE 100 Index slipped 0.3pc.


Spain's three-month borrowing costs more than doubled at auction yesterday, sending two-year yields toward the highest level since 2003, while Belgium's 10-year bond yields rose to more than 5pc, adding to concern that the euro crisis is spreading.

Commerzbank dropped 15pc after Reuters reported that Germany's second-biggest lender may need about €5bn in additional capital if the European Banking Authority toughens its requirements for lenders.

Dexia led a sell-off in banks, tumbling 8.1pc in Brussels. UniCredit fell 4.2pc in Milan, while BNP Paribas SA lost 4.9pc in Paris.

Nokia dropped 8.8pc as Pacific Crest Securities said in a report that the Finnish phone maker shipped fewer devices running Windows Phone 7 than predicted, while sales for the company's Lumia product were "disappointing".

Jefferies said in a note to clients that it has turned "incrementally cautious on Nokia" due to signs that the company's order book has slowed into the fourth quarter.

Thomas Cook plunged 75pc as Europe's second-largest tour operator said it has held talks with banks on financing.

British Land rose 1.5pc after Bank of America upgraded the UK's second-largest REIT to "buy" from "neutral". Separately, UBS cited British Land as the "most defensive of the UK majors".

Irish Independent

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