US stocks fall after new Russia sanctions
Obama announcement snuffs out earlier gains led by telephone stocks
UK stocks advanced as investors weighed earnings from companies including GKN Plc and Next Plc. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire
US stocks fell yesterday as President Barack Obama announced new sanctions against Russia and warned its actions in Ukraine are “setting back decades of progress”, snuffing out earlier gains led by telephone stocks.
Good earnings reports helped the UK but the FTSE 100 did pare gains of as much as 0.7 per cent in the final half-hour of trading after the EU announced new sanctions against Russia.
An EU official told reporters the 28-member group agreed to block Russian state-owned banks from selling shares or bonds in Europe, and restricted the export of equipment to modernise the oil industry. New contracts to sell arms to Russia and the export of machinery, electronics and other civilian products with potential military uses will also be banned.
The Iseq index finished up a modest 0.65 per cent at 4,749.89 yesterday. Bank of Ireland was a strong performer, finishing up 3.17 per cent at 26 cent. AIB closed unchanged at 9 cent, as investors await news on its capital structure following stress test results.
Stockbroker Davy said in a note that investors “specifically await confirmation from the Central Bank of Ireland regarding go-to capital targets for Irish banks.” Both Bank of Ireland and AIB are due to report first-half results shortly.
Ryanair slipped back 1.37 per cent to €6.92. This reversed some of the gains made on Monday when the stock was lifted by first-quarter figures that showed post-tax profits rose by 152 per cent to €197 million. Dalata regained some lost ground from Monday, rising 1 per cent to €3.02. Irish Continental Group, another tourism-linked stock, lifted 3 per cent to €2.75.
Among overseas stocks of Irish interest Canadian oil and gas explorer Antrim Energy saw shares soar from a small base after it said it had found a potentially large oilfield off the coast of the Irish Republic.
The stock shot up by over 140 per cent to 4.6 pence after it had a positive prospective resources report on the Skellig block off the west of Ireland.
UK stocks advanced, after a two-day decline, as investors weighed earnings from companies including GKN Plc and Next Plc. GKN jumped the most in two years after reporting higher first-half pretax profit.
Next climbed 2.6 per cent after raising its full-year revenue and earnings forecasts. Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group slipped 1.8 per cent after saying it was cautious about the outlook for the rest of the year.
The FTSE 100 gained 19.68 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 6,807.75 at the close of trading in London. The FTSE All-Share Index also added 0.3 per cent.
Ferrovial SA rose 1.2 per cent after the Spanish construction firm posted first-half profit that exceeded projections and said it would buy back shares.
Switzerland’s largest lender reported a 36 per cent drop in pre-tax profit, falling short of projections. Banco Espirito Santo SA’s shares fell 11 per cent after a newspaper said the lender would report Portugal’s biggest-ever banking loss when it published its results today.
US stocks rose early on due to a rally in phone shares and good earnings.
Treasuries climbed and the dollar strengthened before a Federal Reserve policy decision. The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.45 per cent in New York, and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased by 0.27 per cent.
Merck rose 1.1 per cent after reporting quarterly earnings that topped projections.
UPS slipped 3.7 per cent after lowering its full-year profit outlook.
Windstream surged 12 per cent after revealing plans to spin off telecoms network assets into a real estate investment trust. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg)