Most stocks decline after G20 rebuff

Tue, Feb 28, 2012, 00:00

MOST MARKETS in Europe declined yesterday as the Group of 20 nations rejected calls from euro zone leaders to boost the resources of the International Monetary Fund to help contain the region’s sovereign debt crisis.


THE IRISH market declined marginally, affected by the negative sentiment across Europe.

The biggest gainer was exploration group Providence Resources, which rose by 22.5 per cent after the company said it found high-quality light crude at its Barryroe licence in the Celtic Sea Basin and would now move to the next stage of drilling.

UTV was up 21.7 per cent as the volatility in the share price continues following its boardroom split last week.

Cavan-based building materials group Kingspan rose by just under 1 per cent as the company reported “pretty good” full year results yesterday, according to one trader. The company reported a pre-tax profit of €77.7 million.

Ryanair slid 1.4 per cent to €4.04 as crude oil traded near a nine-month high of $109.77 a barrel in New York. Lufthansa and Air France-KLM were also down.

Aer Lingus was down marginally but there should be more action in the stock today following the publication of its full-year results.


UK STOCKS fell after the G20 rebuff. Essar Energy dropped 15 per cent, to a record low, as the Indian power producer and oil refiner reported a loss in 2011. HSBC Holdings slipped 3.7 per cent as pretax profit missed analyst estimates.

BP rose to a 13-month high as it was said to be in talks for a settlement of claims over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The benchmark FTSE 100 Index slid 19.58, or 0.3 per cent, to 5,915.55 at the close in London. It has still rallied 20 per cent from its low in October as the European Central Bank increased lending to banks and US economic reports exceeded forecasts.

The FTSE-All Share Index retreated 0.4 per cent.

“Any offers of new IMF money appear to hinge on Europe doing more in its own right to deal with the problems on its own doorstep,” said Michael Hewson, an analyst at CMC Markets in London.

“The IMF has already hinted that its own contribution to the Greek bailout cannot be taken for granted if Germany continues to prevaricate about increasing the size of the firewall.”


EUROPEAN STOCKS declined, extending last weeks retreat, largely on the G20 action.

AP Moeller-Maersk slipped 3.7 per cent after saying that its container division will make a loss this year.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.3 per cent to 263.99 at 4:30 pm in London, after earlier falling as much as 1.2 per cent. The benchmark measure extended last weeks 0.4 per cent retreat.

National benchmark indexes fell in 13 of the 17 western-European markets that were open. Frances CAC 40 Index fell 0.6 per cent, Germanys DAX Index lost 0.1 per cent and the U.K.s FTSE 100 Index slid 0.3 per cent.

The fall in HSBC, the biggest contribution to the Stoxx 600s retreat, came after it reported a 15 per cent increase in pretax profit to $21.9 billion last year. That missed the $22.3 billion median analyst estimate.

Maersk slid 3.7 per cent to 43,840 kroner after the shipping company posted a 43 per cent drop in 2011 profit to 15.2 billion kroner ($2.7 billion). That compared with the average analyst estimate of 14.8 billion kroner.

Falling freight rates pushed its container line to a loss in 2011. The company said that the division will also lose money in 2012.

Carnival, the world’s largest cruise-line owner, declined 1.7 per cent to 1,841 pence. The shares extended losses after the Italian Coast Guard said a fire aboard Costa Crociere’s cruise ship Costa Allegra had been extinguished and all the passengers were safe.

Associated British Foods fell 1.6 per cent to 1,200 pence after the worlds second-biggest sugar producer forecast that first-half profit will exceed the previous year.

Nokia sank 6.1 per cent to 4.06 euros after the world’s third-largest smartphone maker by shipments revealed its latest devices at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, including the Lumia 610.


US STOCKS rose in early trading, erasing early losses, as an increase in US home sales helped halt a global drop. Brent crude snapped a five-day rally while the yen and Treasuries advanced.

The S&P 500 added 0.2 per cent to 1,367.89 at 11:32 am in New York, erasing a drop of as much as 0.8 per cent and returning to above its highest close since June 2008.

An SP gauge of homebuilders jumped 1.5 per cent after the National Association of Realtors said pending sales of existing homes increased 2 per cent, twice the median forecast of economists.

(Additional reporting by Bloomberg)