Friday 17 November 2017

Late sell-off sees index dip into red

Traders work in front of a trading board showing Shutterstock Inc on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work in front of a trading board showing Shutterstock Inc on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Peter Flanagan and Colm Kelpie

IRISH shares fell yesterday as a sell-off across a number of major companies forced the index into its fourth loss in a row.

By the close in Dublin the ISEQ Overall Index had fallen 0.27pc, or 8.87 points, to 3,232.11.

The index looked set to end the day on positive territory for most of the session, but a late sell-off saw the market plunge into the red by the close.

On a day of light volumes, Petroceltic was the main laggard in percentage terms, dropping 53.5pc to 4c. The oil and gas explorer returned to the public markets yesterday after completing a merger with the UK firm Melrose Resources.

Independent News & Media fell 29.7pc to 9c, while Kenmare Resources dipped 7pc to 45c. Shares in Kenmare slid after the rare earths miner issued a lacklustre interim management statement.

Petroneft dipped 7.95pc to 8c even as the company completed drilling at another well in its Siberian licence.

Few stocks posted significant gains yesterday, although CRH bucked the trend. The construction materials giant jumped 1.2pc to €14.05.

The number of people in the US seeking work fell far more than was expected last month, boosting hopes the economy there may be recovering more quickly than expected. CRH makes close to half its turnover in North America.

Fastnet Oil and Gas continued its good week, adding 33pc to 24c. It was a different story elsewhere as European stocks advanced for the first time in four days on the back of the strong US jobless figures and Burberry led luxury-goods makers higher.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.8pc, while national benchmark indices climbed in 16 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 added 0.9pc, France's CAC 40 gained 1.4pc, while Germany's DAX rose 1.1pc.

"The US jobless report was very positive," said Pierre Mouton, a portfolio manager at Notz Stucki in Geneva. "These numbers are encouraging and should help the market recover."

A gauge of personal and household-goods companies was the second-biggest gainer among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600.

LVMH, owner of the Moet, Hennessy, Louis Vuitton climbed 3.8pc. Christian Dior advanced 3.6pc. Carrefour advanced 3.7pc after the French retailer said third-quarter revenue topped expectations.

BAE Systems rose 2.4pc after chief executive Ian King said the company is "strong and financially robust". Adjusted earnings per share will show "modest growth" this year if price negotiations with Saudi Arabia over a fighter-jet order are concluded on time, the London-based company said.

BAE and EADS said yesterday they terminated their planned merger because of government resistance.

Irish Independent

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