Renewed Greek worries depress markets
Concerns about reduced stimulus from central banks weigh on markets
Markets across Europe closed on the back foot as concerns about European finances were back in the spotlight yesterday. The markets sold off amid renewed worries about Greece’s finances after the country’s public broadcaster was abruptly closed and continued fears that central banks may scale back their stimulus efforts.
The Iseq closed lower, in line with its European counterparts, down 26.5 points, or 0.7 per cent to 3,800.6 points.
Building supplies group CRH lost 1.9 per cent, to €15.17 as analysts at Morgan Stanley issued a note warning that companies in the sector with a high exposure to emerging markets could be impacted by slower growth. Shares fell although the group has less exposure than a number of its counterparts.
Drug firm Elan fell 3.45 per cent, to €9.80, as a former board member, Jack Schuler, questioned the experience of the drug company’s management amid ongoing buy out attempts by Royalty Pharma.
Ryanair closed slightly lower, down 0.27 per cent to €6.71, following a share buyback deal when the group bought one million shares on Tuesday.
Shares in beverage producer C&C increased 0.68 per cent, to €4.44, as its US peer Boston Beer was upgraded by analysts at Goldman Sachs. The Irish group purchased US group Vermont Hard Cider last year.
Despite a weaker performance yesterday Irish stocks are climbing three times faster than equities in Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal as the nation could become the first country to exit a European Union-led bailout, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Iseq index has more than doubled from a 13-year low in March 2009 and Smurfit Kappa has led gains with a jump of 889 per cent.
UK stocks declined to the lowest level in more than seven weeks. The FTSE 100 Index dropped 40.63 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 6,299.45 at the close in London, the lowest level since April 22nd. The equity benchmark has lost 7.9 per cent since US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said that the central bank may scale back stimulus if the US economy improves sustainably at the end of May.
Severn Trent slid the most in more than 6 years as a consortium abandoned an offer for the water utility. Shares fell 9.3 per cent to £17.56.
Vodafone fell 5.2 per cent, to 181 pence, after confirming it approached Kabel Deutschland about a takeover.