European values slide for third day
EUROPEAN STOCKS declined for a third day, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index sliding to its lowest level in almost seven weeks as results from companies including Alfa Laval and DE Master Blenders 1753 disappointed investors.
UK stocks tumbled by the most in almost a month after Mulberry Group unexpectedly warned that profit will drop for the full year and as company earnings from the US and continental Europe disappointed investors.
It was a similar story in Dublin where the majority of stocks finished lower on what was described by one trader as a “topsy-turvy day” on the market.
C&C FINISHED 0.7 per cent higher after announcing a $305 million acquisition of the Vermont Hard Cider Company, whose Woodchuck brand is the number one cider in the US.
On the flip side, the wet summer in Ireland and the UK weighed on its Bulmers and Magners brands in the six months to the end of August.
C&C said its operating profit this year would be at the “lower end” of its previously stated range of €112 million to €118 million.
Independent News & Media was the biggest mover, up 5.3 per cent at 10 cent, albeit on small volumes.
The company yesterday reached an out of court settlement with former executive Karl Brophy on undisclosed terms.
Kenmare Resources was the big loser on the day, down 6.8 per cent due to negative sentiment in the resource sector.
A clutch of stalwarts of the Irish market were down more than 2 per cent on the day, affected by the negativity that swept across European bourses.
These included CRH, Ryanair and Smurfit Kappa.
MULBERRY PLUNGED 24 per cent, its biggest sell-off in 14 years, as the luxury-handbag maker said a tougher climate in Asia has led to declining shipments to wholesale customers.
Burberry Group, Britains largest luxury-goods company, dropped 3.2 per cent.
Mining companies sank with metal prices.
Only two stocks on the equity benchmark climbed. The volume of shares changing hands on the gauge was 7 per cent lower than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Stocks fell after Japans exports tumbled and US firms reported sales that trailed forecasts.
The benchmark FTSE 100 has still climbed 10 per cent from this years low on June 1st as the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve introduced unlimited bond-purchasing programmes.
ALFA LAVAL and DE Master Blenders fell at least 5 per cent each. Chemical makers including Arkema tumbled after DuPont’s earnings lagged forecasts.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 1.7 per cent to 268.40 at the close of trading, its lowest level since September 5th.
The gauge has erased most of the gains since European Central Bank officials agreed on an unlimited bond-purchase programme.
European stocks fell as investors speculated that Spain will face less pressure to seek a bailout after a victory in regional elections for prime minister Mariano Rajoy.
Moody’s Investors Service lowered its credit rating on Catalonia and four other Spanish regions.
The decision was “driven by the deterioration in their liquidity positions, as evidenced by their very limited cash reserves as of September 2012 and their significant reliance on short-term credit lines to fund operating needs”, said the ratings agency.
The Spanish economy contracted for a fifth quarter in the three months through September.
Gross domestic product shrank 0.4 per cent from the previous three months, matching the contraction of the second quarter, said the Bank of Spain in an estimate in its monthly bulletin.
Spain sold €3.53 billion of bills yesterday, exceeding its maximum goal.
National benchmark indexes fell in all of the 18 western European markets except Iceland.
STOCKS SLIPPED back in early trading, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average towards its biggest loss since June, amid disappointing results at companies from 3M to DuPont and as commodities erased their gain for the year.
Both firms – 3M, the maker of products ranging from Scotch tapes to dental braces, and DuPont, the most valuable US chemical maker – slumped at least 3.5 per cent.
Xerox, provider of printers and business services, sank 6.8 per cent after saying third-quarter profit fell 12 per cent.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc and Halliburton Co slid more than 3.4 percent as commodities retreated amid concern about a global slowdown. – (Additional reporting by Bloomberg)