European values slide on negative UK construction data

Iseq ends session down as CRH finishes off almost 1%

Ryanair closed up almost a point. Photograph: Paul Thomas/Bloomberg

Ryanair closed up almost a point. Photograph: Paul Thomas/Bloomberg


Trading is expected to be thin for the rest of this week as US markets close early today and all of Thursday for the US Independence Day holiday.

Stock exchanges will close at 1pm New York time today and bond markets will shut at 2pm.

Trading on the Isec was flat yesterday and almost identical to London in a broadly uneventful day’s activity. The index declined 0.1 per cent.

CRH finished down almost 1 per cent following on from an update on its acquisitions which were in line with recent trends.

Paddy Power gained nearly two points, although there was light volume with only a few buyers around on the day.

Ryanair closed up again, by almost one point, a performance which followed on the heels of a successful start to the week in which Monday’s shares climbed to a near remarkable four points.

C&C finished down a quarter point ahead of today’s trading update.

UK stocks were little changed, after the FTSE 100 Index gained the most in a month, as data showed British construction activity in June trailed estimates.

IAG, owner of British Airways, dropped 1.1 per cent to 267.3 pence. EasyJet, Europe’s second-biggest discount carrier, lost 1.2 per cent to 1,331 pence.

Balfour Beatty, the UK’s largest builder, retreated 3.8 per cent to 221.3 pence, the biggest drop since June 5th. Ashmore Group slid 2.9 per cent to 330.9 pence and Aberdeen Asset Management fell 2.4 per cent to 382.4 pence.

Serco surged 6.5 per cent to 665.5 pence, the highest price since October 2000, after the UK services company won a contract worth as much as $1.25 billion for support tasks for US Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Stocks fell following yesterday’s rally for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, again following a report showing a less than anticipated expansion in UK construction.

The Stoxx 600 slipped 0.4 per cent to 287.13 at the close and the equity benchmark advanced as euro-area factory output contracted in June less than estimated.

National benchmark indexes retreated in 13 of the 18 western-European markets. France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.7 per cent and Germany’s DAX slipped 0.9 per cent. Greece’s ASE Index tumbled 3.2 per cent.

Fresenius Medical Care slumped 8.7 per cent to €49.71 as the US government’s Health and Human Services Department proposed cutting payments to kidney-dialysis centres from next year.

Telefonica Deutschland declined 1.7 per cent to €5.44 after Commerzbank cut the German business of Telefonica to hold from buy.

Erste Group Bank lost 2 per cent to €20.01 as Austria’s biggest lender sold €661 million of new shares to help repay state aid in a deal that reduces the stakes of its key shareholders.

In early trading US stocks erased gains as the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index failed to hold above its average from the past 50 days, a technical level watched by traders to gauge the momentum of market moves.

Treasuries were little changed while commodities gained and the yen weakened. The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 per cent to 1,614.53 by lunchtime in New York after climbing as much as 0.6 per cent in morning trading. The 10-year Treasury yield was little changed at 2.48 per cent.

JP Morgan Chase advanced 2.2 per cent after an analyst upgrade, leading gains among financial companies. Ford and Abercrombie and Fitch added at least 2.7 per cent.

Zynga jumped 6.7 per cent after naming a new chief executive. DaVita HealthCare Partners tumbled 5.2 per cent after the government proposed reducing payments to dialysis-centre operators. – (Additional reporting, Bloomberg)