Wednesday 21 February 2018

ISEQ falls as spotlight off US poll

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares fell again as markets shifted their attention back to Europe following the US presidential elections.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index had fallen 0.93pc, or 31.05 points, to close at 3,290.77.

The market held for much of the day but finally gave in after US markets opened, drifting steadily down. The index closed at its intraday low.

Greece passed a fresh round of austerity measures late on Wednesday, but there were still doubts as to Greece's future in the Euro.

The bill on pension, wage and benefit cuts was approved with 153 votes in favour in the 300-seat Parliament.

A European Union official however said euro-area finance ministers will delay a decision on whether to provide further financial aid to Greece.

CRH had another tough day, falling 2.97pc to €14.07. The construction materials giant struggled a day after it was hit by concerns about the state of the US economy after the election. CRH garners around 50pc of its revenue from North America.

Conglomerate DCC fell again, slipping 1.4pc to €22.95. The company was hit by a continued sell off even after posting an interim management statement that was ahead of market expectations on Wednesday.

In percentage terms the big laggard on the session was Permanent TSB, which tumbled 20pc to 2c.

On the other side of the board Glanbia had another strong day, jumping 1.3pc to €7.95 a day after the company released a strong third quarter trading statement and boosted guidance for the rest of the year.

Elsewhere, European stocks fell, extending Wednesday's biggest decline in two weeks, as a selloff in auto manufacturers overshadowed results from Swiss Re and Hermes that beat analysts' estimates.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.2pc, while national benchmark indices fell in every western-European market except Portugal and Switzerland. France's CAC 40 retreated 0.1pc. The UK's FTSE 100 slid 0.3pc and Germany's DAX lost 0.4pc.

"I have trouble being very optimistic," said Matthieu Giuliani, a fund manager at Banque Palatine in Paris. "The general tone of company outlooks is cautious. The situation hasn't changed fundamentally."

A gauge of auto-related companies fell 1.4pc, the biggest slide among the Stoxx 600's 19 industry groups. Peugeot dropped 6.3pc after Citigroup lowered its recommendation for Europe's second-biggest carmaker to sell from neutral, citing the company's struggles with cash.

Valeo declined 4.8pc after UBS downgraded France's second-largest car-parts maker to neutral from buy, saying consensus estimates for European auto suppliers remained too high.

Hermes gained 2pc third-quarter sales advanced.

Irish Independent

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