Tuesday 16 January 2018

ISEQ slip mirrors Euro trend

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

IRISH shares slipped along with the major European stocks yesterday as China's manufacturing activity dropped more than forecast and minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting signalled the US may reduce stimuli in coming months.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index fell by 0.11pc, or 4.71 points, to end the trading day at 4431.68.

A gauge of China's manufacturing activity declined for the first time in four months, while it expanded in the eurozone. But by contrast, the rate of expansion in the services sector eased.

This signalled that the recovery in Europe may already be starting to peter out.

The leaders on the Dublin market included packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, which rose 1.3pc to €17.28, while insurance group FBD increased 0.6pc to €16.71.

It was a good day for the airlines, with Aer Lingus increasing 1.3pc to €1.36, while Ryanair rose 0.6pc to €5.67. INM closed at 14c after it said it would sell new shares at 7c.

On the other side of the board, bookmakers Paddy Power fell 0.8pc to €57.35, while drinks company C&C slipped 0.7pc to €4.54.

It was a bad end to the day for the State's two so-called pillar banks, with Bank of Ireland down 0.8pc to 26c and AIB dropping 4.3pc to 11c.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.2pc at the close of trading.

The gauge, which has rallied 15pc this year, is poised for its first weekly drop in seven weeks.

National benchmark indices retreated in nine of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX were little changed.

France's CAC 40 dropped 0.3pc. "There's been a lack of conviction and momentum in the European market," Michael Ingram, a market strategist at BGC Partners LP in London, said.

French multinational IT services company Atos fell 4.1pc after an investor cut its stake in the company.

Britain's Intermediate Capital Group Plc lost 3.4pc after Numis Securities lowered its rating on the money manager.

Allianz fell 1.3pc after Europe's biggest insurer was cut to neutral at Citigroup.

Johnson Matthey climbed 3.8pc after reporting a profit increase in the first half of the year.

In the US, The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose following its first three-day slump since September, while gasoline and oil rallied and gold and silver slid.

Irish Independent

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