Monday 20 November 2017

Shares fall as ECB rate unchanged

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares fell for the first time in a week, as the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index had fallen 0.27pc, or 9.06 points, to 3.302.09.

The market lurched lower at the opening and stayed there for the rest of the day.

The ECB left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.75pc as expected, while Spain continued to resist talk of a sovereign bailout.

"All the major European equity indices, the ISEQ included, are close to flat on the day with the euro trading at a fortnightly high of $1.30," said Investec analyst Justin Doyle.

Few stocks made significant moves either way on what was another session of relatively light trading.

Aryzta continued its recent struggles, falling 2.21pc to €37.60. The speciality baker is yet to shake off bearish sentiment in Ireland at least after reducing its future profit forecasts last week.

Oil companies had a difficult day despite oil prices rising across the globe. Dragon Oil dropped 1.72pc to €7.41.

Construction-based stocks dipped as well, with CRH and Kingspan sliding 1.1pc to €14.62 and 1.63pc to €7.90 respectively.

Sell-off

Petroceltic was one of the few companies to buck the sell-off, climbing 13.64pc to 10c. Regulators approved its plan to merge with UK firm Melrose Resources.

Elsewhere, markets were little changed following the ECB announcement.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased less than 0.1pc, while national benchmark indexes declined in 12 of the 18 western European markets.

Germany's DAX fell 0.2pc and France's CAC 40 declined 0.1pc. Britain's FTSE 100 was little changed while the Swiss Market Index rose 0.4pc.

"In the absence of any positive news from Spain, or any news that might help set the direction, markets are languishing a bit," said Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin in London.

BMW added 3.2pc after the German automaker said group sales in China rose 59pc in September.

A gauge of carmakers was the best-performing group on the Stoxx 600.

Fiat gained 2.1pc and Daimler climbed 1.2pc. Preferred shares of Volkswagen AG advanced 2.9pc.

In London, Halfords surged 14pc, the most since the company listed in 2004, after the company said it expected 2013 profit before tax in the upper half of its previously forecast range.

The company also reported second-half, same-store sales growth that beat analyst estimates.

Tate & Lyle added 1.9pc after Credit Suisse raised its rating on the firm.

Irish Independent

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