Business World

Wednesday 22 November 2017

ISEQ slides as Bank of Scotland's exit dents confidence

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares slumped again yesterday, amid continued concerns about the global economy and the fallout from Bank of Scotland (Ireland) withdrawing from the country.

The benchmark ISEQ Overall Index closed at 2,756.12 -- its lowest level in over a year -- after losing 1.66pc or 46.50 points on the day. The index was down nearly 2.5pc on the week.

Construction giant CRH led the market down. The company, which makes up nearly a third of the index, lost 3.21pc before closing at €13.89. That was CRH's worst closing price since March last year.

Pharmaceuticals firm ICON was another big loser, slipping 7.3pc to €17.15 after announcing a number of management changes while the banks all fell as the market worked out the ramifications of Bank of Scotland (Ireland) leaving Ireland.

Irish Life and Permanent endured another torrid day, dropping 5.54pc to €1.47, while Bank of Ireland fell 1.04pc to 76c. The food stocks were the only ones that showed any resilience yesterday. The par-baked specialists Aryzta jumped 1.77pc to €33, Donegal Creameries gained 3.64pc to reach €2.85, while agri-foods company Glanbia rose 0.3pc, closing at €3.32. Banana company Fyffes increased 1.52pc to 34c.

The declines here were mirrored across Europe with stocks falling to their lowest level in a month as a retreat in auto and construction-related companies offset takeover activity in the energy industry.

National benchmark indexes fell in all 18 western European markets except Portugal. France's CAC 40 dropped 1.3pc and Germany's DAX slid 1.2pc. The UK's FTSE 100 fell 0.3pc. The composite Stoxx 600 lost 0.7pc.

"Poor economic data out of the US continues to raise concerns amongst investors of a weak and slow recovery," said Joshua Raymond, a market strategist at City Index. "Appetite for risk has taken a back seat. There is minimal volume in the market so many moves are being exacerbated."

Valeo, France's second-largest auto-parts supplier, paced decline by companies considered sensitive to economic growth, dropping 2.5pc. Porsche declined 1.6pc and Italy's Fiat slipped 2.2pc.

Saint-Gobain, Europe's biggest supplier of building materials, also retreated, losing 2.5pc.

Dana Petroleum jumped 6.1pc in London while its rival, BG Group, rallied 6pc.

Irish Independent

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