Business World

Saturday 16 December 2017

ISEQ plummets on economic jitters

Thomas Molloy

THE ISEQ yesterday fell to its lowest level since December as concerns about the global economy continued to impact on shares everywhere.

The benckmark index slid for a seventh session, declining 46.48 points, or 1.7pc, to 2,710.36 as a broad swathe of shares posted significant losses.

A reminder of just how bad things are came from IL&P, which said it was moving from the ISEQ to the junior ESM market, and Balmoral International, which said it intended to delist from the ESM market.

Irish Life was the worst performer on the ISEQ, slumping 14.6pc to 4c following the announcement.

Petroceltic extended a massive fall on Monday with a 9pc decline to 8c after a well in Algeria disappointed management and analysts. Trading on London's AIM, where volumes are much larger, saw similar declines.

Allied Irish Banks was down 3.8pc to 10c after announcing the sale of its AIB International Financial Services business for €33m as part of an asset-disposal programme. CRH extended Monday's dramatic falls, sliding 1.7pc to €12.67.

Shares in drinks company C&C slumped 3.5pc to €3.33 after London broker Collins Stewart hit the company with a "sell" rating and predicted a 13pc decline in the company's share price. "Aside from potential M&A, we cannot see an obvious catalyst (for the stock)," the broker said.


Airlines also had a dreadful day, with Ryanair sliding 2.2pc to €3.09 and Aer Lingus falling 2.9pc to 67c after Transport Minister Leo Varadkar announced the Government has decided to keep the €3 travel tax in place until next spring at the very earliest.

European stocks tumbled to their lowest level in 11 months, with national benchmark indexes going into the red in all 18 western European markets.

Europe became the first major region to enter a so-called correction on Monday, with the Stoxx 600 dropping 10pc from this year's highest level as falling Spanish and Italian bonds showed the sovereign-debt crisis is spreading.

"There's a vicious circle between markets and the economy, with poor economic data refuelling negative sentiment," Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets said. "There are enough elements on the table to create a nervous environment."

Car shares led the sell-off as Fiat and PSA Peugeot Citroen lost more than 4pc.

Pandora tumbled 65pc as the Danish jewellery maker posted earnings that missed estimates. Metro slid 7.5pc as Germany's biggest retailer said profit dropped.

The Stoxx 600 Index retreated 1.9pc at the close in London, the lowest level since last August.

Irish Independent

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