Saturday 20 January 2018

Markets: Stocks slightly down in Dublin and Europe

The Irish Stock Exchange logo is displayed at the entrance to the headquarters in Dublin
The Irish Stock Exchange logo is displayed at the entrance to the headquarters in Dublin Newsdesk Newsdesk

The ISEQ index of Irish shares was down marginally today, while in Europe a decline in bank shares also led stocks lower.

In Dublin, Swiss-Irish frozen bakery company Aryzta made early gains on the day it announced a positive set of results for its last financial year.

However, it eventually finished down 2.62pc at €67 a share.

On the other side of the board, packaging company Smurfit Kappa was among the big climbers, rising 2.4 pc after spending €123m to buy Texas company Bates Container.

The Irish index closed at 4816.88, down 9.28 points.

In Europe, HSBC weighed heavily on the benchmark index amid pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Both it and Standard Chartered slid more than 1.5pc each after pulling the shutters on some Hong Kong branches as protesters stayed on the streets.

Commerzbank fell 4.2pc after a person with knowledge of the matter said the lender faces a US inquiry into whether it broke anti-money-laundering laws.

Balfour Beatty slid to its lowest price in more than 10 years after signalling that the outlook for construction earnings has worsened.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.4 pc to 340.99 at the close of trading, paring losses of as much as 0.9pc.

Shares extended declines in early trading as a final reading showed euro-area economic confidence deteriorated this month.

"The European economy keeps weakening, and the overall business climate is weighing on the market," said Otto Waser, from R&A Research & Asset Management.

National benchmark indexes fell in 14 of 18 western-European markets yesterday. Germany's DAX lost 0.7 pc, France's CAC slid 0.8 pc, and the UK's FTSE 100 dropped less than 0.1 pc.

Irish Independent

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