Worst week since August for European shares as earnings stall
European shares suffered their worst week in three months yesterday, as a slowdown in earnings growth and jitters in bond markets spurred profit-taking in a market that remains close to two-year highs.
Leonardo was the biggest loser yesterday, falling 21.6pc after the Italian defence contractor cut its guidance.
The STOXX 600 fell 0.4pc, weighed down by weaker industrials, a day after suffering its biggest one-day loss since the end of June.
The pan-European index ended the week down 1.9pc, its biggest weekly loss since mid- August, but remains up 7.5pc for the year to date.
Irish shares were down 0.64pc at 6,877.14.
Anthilia fund manager Giuseppe Sersale said some investors may be seeking to lock in profits before the year-end.
"There is nothing fundamentally catastrophic behind the apparent correction. Economic growth is strong and earnings are good, even though not exceptional," he said.
Mediolanum head of investments Gautam Batra said he was cautious on the outlook for stocks because of an unsettled bond market.
Sterling closed the week on firmer ground, climbing around half a percent against the dollar yesterday as better-than-expected data on British industry and rising confidence in the progress of Brexit talks supported the currency. Brexit talks restarted this week, promising more clarity about the shape of a future divorce deal and easing some of the political uncertainty that has pressured the pound.