Wednesday 25 April 2018

Global gloom as slippage continues

Thomas Molloy

THE IRISH stock exchange was closed yesterday for the June bank holiday but local champions trading in London fell in line with stocks elsewhere in Europe.

CRH closed down 1pc at €14.35 while Ryanair closed down 0.5pc at €3.63 as the International Air Transport Association cut its 2011 airline-industry profit forecast by 54pc because of higher oil prices, political protests in the Middle East and North Africa, and the earthquake off Japan.

Air France-KLM Group and Lufthansa, Europe's biggest airlines, fell more than 1pc after the trade group cut the profit forecast.

Aer Lingus was virtually unchanged after talks led pilots to cancel a strike. Tullow added 0.2pc to £13.17 after the company confirmed new finds in Ghana and Uganda.

Stocks in Europe and the US retreated for a fourth day and oil slipped below $100 a barrel before OPEC ministers meet this week in Vienna. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.5pc to a 10-week low, amid growing concern the global economy is weakening.

More than $2 trillion has been erased from the market value of global equities since this year's peak on May 1 amid disappointing economic data, capped by last week's US jobs report. The S&P 500 has tumbled almost 5pc from a near three-year high at the end of April.

"We had very negative economic data points last week," said Tom Wirth, senior investment officer for Chemung Canal Trust. "I'm expecting the recovery will come back in the second half. For the time being, I'm not expecting much from the market."

EON fell 2.3pc and RWE slid 0.7pc as analysts at Commerzbank reduced their share-price estimates for Germany's largest utilities by 10pc "to reflect potential additional burdens" related to the government's decision to exit nuclear power.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet yesterday approved an energy overhaul package that seeks to phase out nuclear energy by the end of 2022 and accelerate the country's turn to renewable resources, the chancellery said in Berlin.

Aegis Group climbed 6.9pc after the UK buyer of advertising space said it is in talks about selling its market research unit Synovate to French polling company Ipsos.

Bayer advanced 1.6pc after Phase III Alsympca trial evaluating its investigational compound radium-223 chloride, in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and bone metastases, was found to significantly improve overall survival.

Glencore gained 2pc as Deutsche Bank initiated coverage of the world's largest listed commodity trader with a "buy" recommendation, saying the stock is undervalued.

Irish Independent

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