Banks weigh on European markets which fall from 20-month highs

Kingspan shares close down 1.6% despite strong sales growth

Investor caution in the run up to Bank of Ireland’s agm showed no sign of abating, and the stock again closed down, this time by 1.6%

Investor caution in the run up to Bank of Ireland’s agm showed no sign of abating, and the stock again closed down, this time by 1.6%

 

European shares fell from 20-month highs on Thursday as weaker banks weighed, with the broader market little moved by a widely expected European Central Bank decision to stand pat on policy.

DUBLIN

The Iseq overall index fell into line with European movements and closed down by 0.53 per cent.

Kingspan dropped slightly despite the company reporting a surge in sales in the first quarter of this year. The stock closed down 1.64 per cent at €31.25.

Airlines across the board suffered on the back of loses for American Airlines, but Ryanair held relatively strong on the Iseq and closed down by only 0.13 per cent at €15.68.

Investor caution in the run up to Bank of Ireland’s agm showed no sign of abating, and the stock again closed down, this time by 1.6 per cent.

Food stocks, which are a defensive stock picks according to traders, had a relatively good day, with C&C and Total Produce both closing up by 1.33 per cent and 0.34 per cent respectively.

Glanbia suffered from a second day of losses on the back of its earnings report on Wednesday. It closed down 0.11 per cent.

LONDON

Britain’s top shares index fell, snapping a three-day winning streak as miners and ex-dividends weighed. However, banks provided support, as did a jump in Mediclinic’s shares.

Britain’s blue chip FTSE 100 index ended down 0.7 per cent at 7,237.17 points, underperforming a slight fall in the broader European market.

First-quarter results for British lenders were the main focus as Lloyds reported profit figures beating analysts’ expectations, sending its shares 2.3 per cent higher, close to pre-Brexit levels. Royal Bank of Scotland also rose 0.3 per cent.

Mediclinic was the biggest gainer, soaring 17.5 per cent after the Abu Dhabi government scrapped a 20 per cent co-payment requirement for treatment at private facilities. The measure was introduced last July just after Mediclinic had bought Abu Dhabi private hospital group Al Noor for about $1.7 billion.

The FTSE 100 was pulled lower by firms trading ex-dividend, such as Legal & General, which fell 5.4 per cent, and Informa, down 1.8 per cent.

EUROPE

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.2 per cent, after hitting a 20-month high in the previous session. France’s CAC fell 0.3 per cent, off Wednesday’s nine-year high.

Deutsche Bank shares fell 3.7 per cent as a fall in first-quarter revenues disappointed, even though net profit more than doubled due to a rebound in bond trading. Deutsche Bank’s share price has nearly doubled from its September 2016 lows.

A 6 per cent drop in Spain’s Banco Popular added to underperformance in euro zone banks, down 1.8 per cent.

Intesa Sanpaolo also weighed, down 2.3 per cent, after Generali said it saw a short term opportunity to sell its stake in the Italian lender.

First-quarter earnings hit by weak margins in its renewable and retail business dampened appetite for shares in Finnish energy company Neste, which fell 4.2 per cent, dragging on the broader European energy index.

NEW YORK

The Nasdaq hit a record intraday high powered by a string of strong earnings from technology companies, while the S&P 500 and the Dow were little changed.

The S&P 500 technology index rose, led by PayPal, which hit an all-time high after raising its full-year earnings forecast.

Comcast was the top stock on the S&P, with an increase after the company’s profit beat analysts’ estimates on strong subscriber growth.

American Airlines dropped after the company said it had deferred the delivery of several Boeing and Airbus jets in the latest sign of oversupply in the market for long-distance airliners. The news dragged down shares of other US carriers, including Delta and United Continental.