Tuesday 24 October 2017

Poor showing as investors spooked

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

It was a poor showing by European bourses yesterday.

Although manufacturing data was better than expected, the figures were offset by worse-than-expected factory output in the United States.

The IMF also cut its forecast for German economic growth even as ECB boss Mario Draghi said he expected the eurozone to show signs of recovery by the end of the year.

Investors were also spooked over fears that the US Federal Reserve may be preparing to scale back its debt-buying programme as a stimulus measure.

The Irish Stock Exchange was closed for the public holiday.

"Risk premiums are increasingly driven by the fear of a reduction in monetary stimulus," said Witold Bahrke, who helps oversee $55bn (€42bn) in funds as a senior strategist at PFA Pension in Copenhagen.

"Markets are moving into a good-news-is-bad-news environment when it comes to strong macro numbers, as strong figures increase the chance of the quantitative-easing punch bowl being taken away," he said.

National benchmark indices retreated in 15 of the 17 western-European markets that were open yesterday.

The UK's FTSE 100 slid 0.9pc, while France's CAC 40 dropped 0.7pc. Germany's DAX lost 0.8pc.

DECLINE

Roche, the world's biggest maker of cancer drugs, slid 3.7pc to 230.30 Swiss francs for the biggest decline since November 2011. Its Avastin drug failed to extend the survival of patients with deadly brain tumours in a study that found no advantage in using the treatment as a first-line therapy against the cancer known as glioblastoma.

Munich Re, the world's biggest reinsurer, lost 2.7pc to €140.80 and Hannover Re, the fourth-largest, dropped 3.3pc to €56.39.

Prague braced for the swollen Vltava River to crest yesterday as the Czech government deployed hundreds of soldiers to avert a repeat of the 2002 floods that destroyed neighbourhoods.

Separately, there were reports that US property insurers seeking to manage the potential costs of natural disasters won price cuts for reinsurance policies of 15pc on average.

Ingenico, a French provider of payment terminals and services, decreased 3.4pc to €50.92 for its biggest drop in three months. Berenberg Bank downgraded the stock to sell from hold, citing an increase in competition.

Lonmi tumbled 4.3pc to 282.4 pence after a National Union of Mineworkers member was killed and a second wounded in a shooting near the company's Marikana mine in northwestern South Africa.

Exor, the Agnelli family holding company that is Fiat's biggest shareholder, climbed 1.3pc to €24.94 after selling a €2bn stake in SGS, the world's largest product inspector.

Irish Independent

Also in Business