Stocks slip as optimism on Spain dims
STOCKS SLIPPED, Spain’s borrowing costs climbed and the dollar gained against the euro yesterday as initial optimism about Madrid’s debt-cutting plans gave way to anxiety over its troubled banks and faltering global growth.
The biggest market declines were in France and Italy, according to one stockbroker, who attributed the decreases to concerns in Europe and to the French budget, which detailed higher levies on business and a new 75 per cent tax rate.
THE ISEQ index added just 0.2 per cent or six points to finish the quarter at 3,278.28. Still, this was better than most European markets, which closed down between 1 and 2 per cent.
Amid a quiet day of trading, CPL Resources was the biggest gainer, climbing nearly 10 per cent to close at €3.40.
Also up were Kerry Group and Kingspan, by 2.31 per cent and 1.04 per cent respectively.
Petroneft Resources climbed 4.17 per cent to 10 cent following the publication of 2012 interim results. Oil and gas exploration firm Providence Resources also gained, closing at €8.45, following news that the company is to sell its onshore UK licence interests for $66 million.
Building materials giant CRH, which accounts for about one-third of the index, was virtually unchanged, falling 0.73 per cent to close at €15.00.
Clinical trials firm Icon also lost out, falling 3.49 per cent to €17.95, while financial services business IFG was down 2.76 per cent to close at €1.41.
BRITAIN’S BENCHMARK share index fell to its lowest closing level in more than three weeks, as persistent worries over Europe’s debt crisis and the global economy hit markets, while investors said any moves higher would be limited.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 closed down 0.65 per cent, or 37.35 points, at 5,742.07 points, marking its worst close since September 5th.
The index rose 3.1 per cent over the third quarter, but finished the week down 1.9 per cent.
Miners topped the FTSE 100 leaderboard. Gains in Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton added most to the FTSE, as expectations of new stimulus measures from China – the world’s biggest metals consumer – boosted the sector.
Meanwhile, motor insurer Admiral fell approximately 3 per cent, while rival insurer RSA slipped 1.3 per cent, as an Office of Fair Trading inquiry into the private motor insurance market hit the sector.
Support services group Compass also fell around 3 per cent after broker Natixis cut its rating on the stock to “neutral” from “buy”.