Greek austerity doubts prompt declines
Stocks fell yesterday amid concerns over Greece’s ability to deliver cuts needed before the EU can release further funds to its most financially troubled member state.
The Irish market had a mixed day, according to traders, with most stocks gaining ground in the morning before falling back later in the day.
There was good demand for airline Ryanair, in which over five million shares were traded yesterday. It ended the day 0.71 per cent ahead at €4.935.
There was also some interest in drinks group CC at the €3.90 mark. Almost 1.3 million shares in the company changed hands, but the price made very little headway, ending the day 0.13 per cent up at €3.905.
Heavyweight, international building materials group CRH tumbled 2.97 per cent to close at €14.07.
Packaging group Smurfit gained 0.6 per cent to end the day at €8.35, after more than 1.1 million of its shares were traded in Dublin.
The London market fell for the second day running, with both the FTSE 100 and all-share indices losing ground.
Balfour Beatty sank 18 per cent to 250.1 pence, the biggest fall of any Stoxx 600 share. Britain’s biggest builder forecast profit margins would slip this year because of a lack of work. Its order book fell 4 per cent to £14.4 billion in the three months through September.
G4S slid 3.1 per cent to 259.2 pence. The security provider has lost the contract to run the Wolds prison in Yorkshire.
Eurasian Natural Resources retreated 3.4 per cent to 294.6 pence. The producer of metals in Kazakhstan said sales in the first nine months slumped as the price for iron ore declined 26 per cent and ferro-alloys fell 8 per cent.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index dipped 0.2 per cent and benchmark indices were down across the continent, barring Switzerland and Portugal.
Stocks linked to the motor industry suffered most. Peugeot fell 6.3 per cent to €4.46 after Citigroup lowered its recommendation to sell from neutral.
Car parts manufacturer Valeo declined 4.8 per cent to €33.13 on the back of a UBS downgrade to neutral. Tyremaker Pirelli Cie lost 2.8 per cent to €8.50.
Swiss Re rose 1.9 per cent to 67.15 francs after reporting net income of $2.18 billion in the third quarter, beating average analyst estimate of $1.35 billion.
The world’s second-biggest reinsurer said it would consider a special dividend if it failed to find an alternative way to deploy its excess capital.
Hermes gained 2 per cent to €223.60 after the French maker of Birkin bags and silk scarves said third-quarter sales advanced 24 per cent from a year earlier to €848.6 million, beating analysts’ estimates.
Siemens added 1.8 per cent to €80.27 after Europe’s largest engineering company announced that it plans to cut costs by €6 billion as it prepares for lower profit.
Alcatel-Lucent rose 12 per cent to 88.5 cents after ATT said it would invest $14 billion over three years to improve its telecom networks.
Vallourec, which produces steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, gained 4.4 per cent to €32.98. It reported third-quarter net income of €62 million, beating the average analyst estimate of €60.7 million.
JCDecaux slid 6.1 per cent to €16.03. The French outdoor-advertising company forecast that like-for-like revenue would decline in the fourth quarter.
US stocks fell yesterday and could be in line for more weakness as worries about Washington’s ability to find a timely solution to the “fiscal cliff” dominate investor thinking in coming weeks.
The SP 500 dropped for a second day and closed below its 200-day moving average for the first time in five months. Just minutes before the closing bell, the decline accelerated and the SP 500 fell more than 1 per cent. – (Additional reporting Reuters, Bloomberg)