European markets hold their own as US shutdown crisis looks set to drag on

Dublin trade muted ahead of budget

 US stocks rose as plans for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to meet congressional leaders raised hopes that a resolution to the fiscal impasse was closer, but the Columbus Day holiday meant volumes were lower than usual. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

US stocks rose as plans for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to meet congressional leaders raised hopes that a resolution to the fiscal impasse was closer, but the Columbus Day holiday meant volumes were lower than usual. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 01:00


European markets held their own or ticked up slightly for the most part as they awaited further developments in the US shut-down saga, which it is now hoped Congress can resolve on Thursday.

The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 index has made further progress this month and rallied 12 per cent this year so far, even against the background of uncertainty in the world’s biggest economy. Most indices were up or little changed yesterday. Investors appear to be optimistic that the US will resolve its difficulties.


DUBLIN
The mood in Dublin was muted ahead of today’s budget, but dealers said there was activity in a number of leading stocks. Index heavyweight, building materials group, CRH, climbed 3 per cent to close at €18.18, with brokers reporting strong buyer interest, largely driven by some positive news from peers and the expectation that its next formal statement to the markets will be positive.

Ryanair, slid 1.52 per cent to €6.85 with sentiment appearing to run against its sector yesterday with rival Easyjet and a number of European flag carriers all down.

Bookmaker Paddy Power was under pressure for most of the day, closing 1.04 per cent down at €57. Stockbroker Davy recently published a note suggesting that while the company was in good shape, its stock looked relatively expensive.

Dealers said that it has slipped since then, but pointed out that the overall fall, from around the €59/€60 mark, has not been excessive.

Smurfit pushed through the €17-mark, ending the day 0.74 per cent up at €17.025.

Today will mark another defection from the Irish Stock Exchange as DIY specialist and builder’s merchant, Grafton, moves to London. The soon-to-emigrant stock gained 0.22 per cent to close at €6.93 on its last day in Dublin.

LONDON
Irish-headquartered Greencore gained 3.62 per cent in London, where the convenience foods group is now listed, to close at 160.40 pence sterling, after touching highs of 161 pence during the day. Dealers in Dublin also received some buy orders for the stock, but said there appeared to be no particular reason for the interest in the company.

Johnson Matthey, the UK platinum refiner and producer of autocatalysts, climbed 5.9 per cent to 2,987 pence as JPMorgan Chase upgraded it to overweight, similar to a buy rating. Airline Easyjet closed down 0.7 per cent at 1,263 after testing lows of 1,253 on a day when most in its industry appeared friendless.

EUROPE
Dassault declined 11 per cent to €86.24, the largest slide in five years. Revenue in the third quarter, excluding currency effects, rose 4 per cent, falling short of targeted growth of 8 per cent to 9 per cent, according to a company statement.

Peugeot plunged 9.1 per cent to €11.25, the biggest decline since August 2011. The carmaker is preparing to sell €3 billion of new stock, with China’s Dongfeng Motor Corp and the French government buying matching stakes in Europe’s second-biggest carmaker, .

Ericsson AB, the largest maker of wireless-network equipment, retreated 2.1 per cent to 82.95 kronor as Barclays predicted its third quarter earnings could disappoint.

US
US stocks rose as plans for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to meet congressional leaders raised hopes that a resolution to the fiscal impasse was closer, but the Columbus Day holiday meant volumes were lower than usual.

Netflix shares rose 5.5 per cent at $317.38 after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is in talks with several US cable television companies, including Comcast Corp and Suddenlink Communications, to make its streaming video service available through their set-top boxes.

Expedia shares were off nearly 7 per cent at $48.12 after a rating cut by Deutsche Bank. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters)