Stocks fall as the euro strengthens
European shares fell yesterday as remarks from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi kept the euro running, sending the currency to fresh three-year highs against the dollar.
The Eurozone Stoxx 50 index fell 0.79pc, hitting a one-week low after the single currency spiked higher following remarks from Mr Draghi, who said the ECB bank did not target foreign exchange rates. The broader pan-European STOXX 600 also hit a one-week low.
"The euro jumped past $1.25 for the first time in over three years after the ECB appeared to be more relaxed about the currency's recent appreciation than many market participants expected," said ETX Capital analyst Neil Wilson.
Investors were eagerly awaiting Draghi's comments on the euro after ECB policy-makers kept interest rates and guidance unchanged, all the more since US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Wednesday talked of the benefits of a weak dollar. Ireland's ISEQ Overall Index tumbled 1.71pc to 7,033.76.
One of the big decliners was Swiss-Irish food group Aryzta, which has a secondary listing in Dublin. In Zurich, its shares slumped 21pc to 29.87 Swiss francs after it issued a profit warning. It said its EBITDA in the current financial year will be 15pc below the figure in 2017, having previously expected it to be broadly in line.
Other decliners included Paddy Power Betfair, which shed 2.2pc to €91.83, and Ryanair, which fell 1.8pc to €16.30.
Shares in Bank of Ireland ended the session 2pc higher at €8.15.
The UK's FTSE-100 lost 0.36pc. Germany's DAX was 0.87pc lower and France's CAC-40 was down 0.25pc.
Clariant fell 8.1pc as activist investor White Tale sold out of the speciality chemicals group.