Markets close down across the globe
Markets were down across the globe yesterday, as euro area finance ministers met to discuss Greek aid and concern grew that impending US tax increases and spending cuts will harm the world’s biggest economy. In the US, bond markets were closed in observance of Veterans Day.
Kingspan led the charge with a trading update yesterday, in what will be a busy week with Bank of Ireland, CRH, IFG, Tullow Oil and Paddy Power all due to report to the market.
The building materials group reported figures in line with expectations, but a weakening in sales for the third quarter led brokers to say that they would pull back their numbers slightly for 2013.
While there were buyers around for Kingspan, a significant seller saw it decline by 18 cent, or 2.3 per cent, to close down at €7.70.
With the European Commission set to outline its objections to Ryanair’s bid for Aer Lingus, the airline slid back, losing two cent, or 0.3 per cent to finish down at €4.93.
Aer Lingus was also weak on the day, after it failed to resolve the pensions issue with staff and still faces the possibility of industrial action. It gave up three cent, or 3.1 per cent to finish the day down at €1.05.
Ahead of its vote today to determine the future direction of Glanbia, the food group added 1 cent, or 0.9 per cent to advance to €8.05. With Bank of Ireland set to issue its first bond in the public debt markets since 2010 today, it finished strongly, adding 1.1 per cent to finish up at €0.093. The market closed down 25.37 points, or 0.8 per cent, at 3,269.20
The FTSE 100 finished flat but out-performed European stocks, led by a financials sector that bucked the broader European trend as investors sought refuge from euro zone debt distress. The index closed down just 2.41 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 5,767.22, opening the week steady after losing 1.7 per cent the previous week.
Financials added nine points to the FTSE 100 and ensured the blue-chip bourse finished in positive territory. The solid gains resulted in Lloyds Banking Group adding 3.5 per cent and Barclays 2 per cent. Lloyds has rallied by 5.7 per cent since the Federal Reserve announced on Friday that it did not expect proposed Basel III rules on banking regulation to be implemented in the US by the January 1st, 2013 deadline.
Concerns over US budget decisions continue to weigh on investors across Europe.
“Until there is clarity on the fiscal cliff, markets will be nervous,” said Nicolaas Marais, head of multi-asset investments and portfolio solutions at Schroders in London.
“There is a commitment to solve the issues, but markets will have a wait-and-see mode and be very cautious until that is in place. Between the fiscal cliff and some of the challenges in Greece, you are in a risk-off mode at the moment.”
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.2 per cent to 269.69, while France’s Cac 40 dropped 0.3 per cent, and Germany’s Dax was up by 0.1 per cent.
Alpha Bank led Greek banks lower as the nation’s creditors said the country may face a €15 billion financing gap. Cobham slid by 9.6 per cent after the world’s largest maker of airborne-refueling equipment forecast weaker revenue and profitability. Telecom Italia rose by 4.2 per cent as Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris offered to purchase a stake in the company.
US stocks fell, extending their losses after suffering the worst weekly decline in five months, as lingering worries about the upcoming debate on the fiscal cliff weighed on investor sentiment. Barclays cut its year-end target for the S&P 500 to 1,325 and cited fiscal cliff issues as a reason. Apple shares, which had been higher in early morning trade, reversed course to trade down more than 1 per cent, weighing heavily on all three major US stock indexes.– (Additional reporting Bloomberg /Reuters)