European stocks fall on Ukraine worries

Prospects for Chinese economy prompt alot of investors to take money off the table

Worries over the situation in Ukraine and the prospects for the Chinese economy prompted a lot of investors to mark time, and to take money off the table, traders said.

Worries over the situation in Ukraine and the prospects for the Chinese economy prompted a lot of investors to mark time, and to take money off the table, traders said.

Sat, May 10, 2014, 01:01


After a strong response on Thursday to the outcome of the latest ECB governing council meeting, markets were down again yesterday in most European centres.

Worries over the situation in Ukraine and the prospects for the Chinese economy prompted a lot of investors to mark time, and to take money off the table, traders said.

Data showed Germany’s trade surplus grew less than projected last month while China’s consumer price index decelerated to the slowest pace in 18 months. The euro fell to the lowest in a month as companies from Goldman Sachs Group to Royal Bank of Scotland Group predicted the European Central Bank will cut interest rates next month.

Volumes were light in Dublin, and traders were of the view the exchange will move little over the coming period after its strong run, until figures for the first half of the year start to emerge.


DUBLIN
The Iseq index of Irish shares closed at 4,878.82, a fall of 0.94 per cent. The most traded shares were Smurfit Kappa, Kerry, Ryanair, CRH and Bank of Ireland.

Ryanair fell 1,75 per cent, to €6.90, reversing Thursday’s momentum, a pattern that traders said was reflective of the general volatility that exists.

Aer Lingus travelled in the opposite direction, rising by 1.61 per cent to close at €1.51.

CRH closed at €20.38, a fall of 0.73 per cent, while Smurfit closed at €17, a fall of 0.41 per cent.

Bank of Ireland fell 2.53 per cent to close at €0.27.

AIB will release an interim management statement on Monday, Ryanair on May 19th.


LONDON
The London-listed building materials group Grafton reported a positive start to the year with revenues for the four months to the end of April up 13 per cent to £654 million. This compared with revenues of £576 million for the same period a year earlier.

The group which has operations in Britain, Ireland and Belgium and owns the Woodie’s DIY retail chain, said underlying revenues were up almost 11 per cent versus the first four months of 2013. Like-for-like revenues rose 11.4 in Ireland and were up 9.9 per cent and 15.8 per cent in the UK and Belgium respectively.

The share closed up 0.98 per cent, at 618p (€7.56).


EUROPE
National benchmark indexes fell in 15 of the 18 western European markets. Germany’s DAX dropped 0.3 per cent while France’s CAC 40 slid 0.7 per cent. However, on a weekly basis, European stocks gained for the fourth straight week, after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said policymakers are ready to take action to offset disappointing corporate earnings.

Traders said Russia’s annexation of Crimea and a separatist campaign in Ukraine raised concern that geopolitical tensions will disrupt trade and undermine Europe’s economic recovery.

HeidelbergCement slipped 1.5 per cent as Société Générale downgraded its rating on the world‘s third-largest maker of cement. It slipped 1.5 per cent to €61.16. SocGen cut its rating on the stock to hold from buy, citing the lack of a catalyst to drive the shares higher. The stock trades at 15.4 times its projected earnings, up from a multiple of 13 times at the beginning of the year.


NEW YORK
US stocks fluctuated, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index poised for a weekly decline, as a rally among internet shares offset losses in utilities. The euro weakened and coffee sank to a one-month low.

The S&P500 Index rose 0.1 per cent at 12:43pm in New York, as retailers rallied amid earnings. The Dow Jones Internet Index gained 1.2 per cent, trimming a weekly slide to 3.7 per cent.

Apple fell 1 per cent. The iPhone maker is in advanced talks to acquire Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion, trading, people with the knowledge of the discussions said. (Additional reporting, Bloomberg)