Banking and mining stocks buck trend as shares slide

Ryanair and CRH dip in Dublin while Glanbia and Kingspan trade up

European shares dipped on Thursday although sectors such as banking and mining provided investors with some respite.


Airline Ryanair fell 1.18 per cent to €15.50. There was no news behind the fall but traders suggested that it was on the back of concerns about oil price rises.

Cement giant CRH dipped 0.7 per cent to €30.781 as European rivals such as Heidelberg and Holcimlafarge delivered mixed performances.


Insulation and building materials group Kingspan continued its recent strong run, gaining 1.63 per cent to €39.98. Traders noted that it has been popular with investors since publishing 2017 results in March.

Dairy and food group Glanbia climbed 1.81 per cent to €14.10 as investors bought more than six million shares.

Convenience foods and ingredients specialist Kerry dipped 0.34 per cent to €89 .

While European banks performed well, Irish lenders had a quieter day. AIB closed unchanged at €5.03 having hovered around the €5 mark for most of the day. Bank of Ireland inched 0.67 per cent up to €7.54.


Builder Barratt Developments fell 1.72 per cent to 558.4 pence sterling despite issuing a trading statement saying the business was on track to meet market expectations and forward sales were up 2.5 per cent.

Next was the biggest top flight riser, gaining 322p to 5,568p, as the retailer upgraded its annual profits forecast following a sales boost from the recent heatwave.

The group said unusually warm weather in recent weeks, which resulted in a “sales overperformance”, will add about £12 million to its full year profit.

ITV was the second-highest riser after the broadcasting giant posted rising first quarter revenue, helped by a strong performance in its studios division. Shares closed 9.15p up at 160.35p.

Royal Bank of Scotland was also on the up after agreeing a 4.9 billion US dollar settlement with US regulators over claims it mis-sold toxic mortgage bonds in the run-up to the financial crisis. Shares closed up 10.4p at 286.5p.

The biggest faller was BT, which announced that 13,000 jobs were to be axed as part of a revamped cost-cutting drive. Plans were also revealed to exit the BT headquarters in central London, though another site in the capital is expected to house its head office.


A solid update from Italy's biggest bank UniCredit helped limit losses on the pan-European STOXX 600, which ended just 0.1 per cent lower.

UniCredit rose 1.84 per cent to €17.86 after it posted its best first-quarter result since 2007, topping forecasts with a €1.1 billion net profit thanks to lower-than-expected loan losses.

Italy’s FTSE MIB fell 1 per cent as bond yields jumped on an increased possibility that a government of anti-establishment parties will take power.

Cement maker Heidelberg fell 3.43 per cent to €81.08. Rival Lafargeholcim rose 0.73 per cent to €55.02 Swiss francs.


US stocks rose sharply on Thursday, with the benchmark S&P 500 topping a key technical level for the second straight day, after tepid inflation data eased worries of faster interest rate hikes this year.

AXA Equitable Holdings, the US division of French insurer AXA, slipped 0.5 per cent in its market debut. Although its offering raised less than targeted, it was still the biggest US flotation this year.

Technology stocks were the biggest boost to the S&P 500 on Apple’s 1.4 per cent rise to a record high. The S&P 500 reclaimed its 100-day moving average for the first time since April 19th. That came a day after it topped its 50-day average, a key indicator of short-term momentum.

The top losers on the S&P 500 included Victoria's Secret owner L Brands, which fell 8.6 per cent, and Booking Holdings, formerly called Priceline, which dropped 5.3 per cent. Both companies gave disappointing outlooks. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas