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Stocks fall as investors doubt ECB can aid recovery

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Stocks in Europe dropped from a two-month high amid investor concern that the latest ECB stimulus measures aren't enough to spur the economic recovery.

Stocks in Europe dropped from a two-month high amid investor concern that the latest ECB stimulus measures aren't enough to spur the economic recovery.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Stocks in Europe dropped from a two-month high amid investor concern that the latest ECB stimulus measures aren't enough to spur the economic recovery.

Stocks in Europe dropped from a two-month high amid investor concern that the latest European Central Bank stimulus measures aren't enough to spur the economic recovery.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.4pc to 347.57 at the close of trading, trimming its fourth weekly advance to 1.6pc. The index jumped 1.1pc on Thursday after the ECB unexpectedly cut its three main interest rates and announced a programme to buy securities.

ECB President Mario Draghi is struggling to boost inflation that's running at a fraction of the ECB's goal against a backdrop of near-record unemployment. "Markets are weak today as investors doubt the measures announced yesterday will produce growth, improve jobs or increase inflation," said Daniel Weston, a portfolio manager at Aimed Capital in Munich.

US employers hired the fewest workers this year in August, fuelling confidence that the Federal Reserve won't raise rates sooner than expected.

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index was barely changed as it headed into the weekend, edging just 3.5 points higher to 4,954.24. So far this year, the index has climbed 10.5pc.

Stocks on the move included packaging giant Smurfit Kappa. Its shares added 1.2pc, or 22 cent, to €17.90 amid a better environment for container-board.

Shares in Ryanair finished the session 0.8pc higher at €7.55 as news emerged that it may be close to sealing a deal to buy 100 more aircraft from Boeing. Shares in Aer Lingus rose 3.3pc to €1.42.

Bank of Ireland also enjoyed a boost, with its shares adding 1.2pc to 32.7 cent. BoI shares have been slowly moving back towards the near 39 cent level they reached earlier this year.

National benchmark indices slid in 12 of the 18 western-European markets yesterday. France's CAC 40 Index lost 0.2pc and the UK's FTSE 100 Index dropped 0.3pc, while Germany's DAX Index added 0.2pc.

Irish Independent