Monday 22 January 2018

ISEQ and European shares down again after Thursday's big fall

With high-valuation stocks under pressure, earnings could be subjected to even more investor scrutiny than usual.
With high-valuation stocks under pressure, earnings could be subjected to even more investor scrutiny than usual.
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

IRISH shares were down for the fourth consecutive day yesterday, but the drop was small compared with Thursday's 3pc fall.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.33pc, or 15.35 points, to end the trading week at 4654.09.

On Thursday, the ISEQ had suffered its largest daily drop in more than two-and-a-half years, plummeting by more than 3pc.

Most European stocks also dropped yesterday, following the Stoxx Europe 600 Index's largest decline in a month on Thursday. Travel and leisure companies slid after TUI AG reported a wider loss and car-related shares slipped.

The euro fell against most of its major peers as investors sold peripheral government bonds amid speculation that the region's economy remains sluggish.

The leaders in Dublin included two of the exchange's biggest companies, Kerry Group and Paddy Power. Kerry was up 1.3pc to €54.26, while the bookmakers rose 1.3pc to €51.95.

Bank of Ireland increased 3.6pc to 26c, while Aer Lingus closed up 3.6pc to €1.45.

On the other side of the board, Ryanair slipped 2.6pc to €6.35. Ratings giant Fitch assigned Ryanair a BBB+ long-term rating with a stable outlook, but the announcement of the highest rating for an airline anywhere in the world came after markets had closed in Europe.

Insulation group Kingspan was down 3.8pc to €11.95, while packaging giant Smurfit Kappa closed down 3.4pc to €15.91.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx 600 added 0.1pc at the close. It has advanced 0.1pc this week.

National benchmark indices retreated in 11 of the 17 western European markets that opened yesterday. France's CAC 40 advanced 0.3pc, while Germany's DAX fell 0.3pc. The UK's FTSE 100 gained 0.2pc.

"The market doesn't have many impulses at the moment to lift it higher," said Markus Wallner, an equity strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

He added: "First-quarter results haven't been that impressive and have come in quite mixed." (Additional reporting, Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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