Friday 23 February 2018

ISE pays the price for world gloom


Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares fell yesterday, as poor economic data from Europe and around the world weakened the appetite for risk across the market.

By the close of business, the ISEQ Overall Index was behind 1.15pc, or 33.38 points, at 2,874.22.

The index went into the red from the opening and stayed there for the rest of the day after eurozone growth weakened, ECB President Jean Claude Trichet said the sovereign debt crisis threatened banks, and US jobless claims rose. The Fed cut US growth forecasts, also hitting stocks.

Oil and manufacturing stocks were the big losers.

CRH dipped 3.3pc to €14.05 on the back of the dreary data from the US -- a vital market for the company. US jobless claims rose more than expected to 429,000 while Fed chairman Ben Bernanke revised down growth forecasts for the economy there.

Dragon Oil, Providence Resources and Petroceltic all fell after the International Energy Agency said it was releasing some 60m barrels in the next month, driving oil prices down.

Providence closed down 3.28pc at €2.95, while Petroceltic dipped 10pc. Dragon Oil lost 1.84pc to reach €5.64. Petroneft, which dropped more than 20pc on Wednesday, regained some territory yesterday after spending most of the session in the doldrums. The company rose 2.42pc.

Elsewhere, European stocks hit a three-month low on the back of concerns about the world economy.

National benchmark indices retreated in every western European market open.

The UK's FTSE 100 Index slumped 1.7pc, Germany's DAX declined 1.8pc and France's CAC 40 Index fell 2.2pc.

Austria and Luxembourg were closed for a public holiday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 1.4pc.

"You would have thought that after the voting in Greece a couple of days ago you would have had more legs to the upside, but I think traders are still very nervy because Greece has basically just about got over one hurdle but has plenty more to come across," Manoj Ladwa, senior trader at ETX Capital, said.

Banks were the worst-performing of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600. BBVA, Spain's second-largest lender, declined 5.5pc. Italy's Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena dropped 5.1pc and Dexia lost 5.4pc.

In Frankfurt, Bayer slumped 6.3pc, its largest drop since March 2009.

Mediaset tumbled 6.7pc to its lowest close since its initial public offering in 1996.

The company said advertising sales in Italy would decline as much as 5pc in the first six months.

Irish Independent

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