European stocks fell slightly on Tuesday, pulled down by commodities stocks, but retailers gained after Carrefour announced an online shopping partnership with Google, while Italian stocks advanced for the second consecutive day.
A summit between US president Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un had limited impact on UK and European stock markets.
The Iseq index finished down 0.4 per cent in line with the prevailing trend across Europe. CRH fell 0.7 per cent to €32.25, though Ryanair added almost 0.2 per cent to €16.16.
Paddy Power Betfair fell 1.3 per cent after Davy Research said the earlier-than-expected introduction of a tax on online betting in Queensland, Australia, was on course to wipe 1.4 per cent from the bookmaker's earnings.
Paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa ended 1.8 per cent lower at €33.20, while Independent News & Media was down 2.9 per cent just above 10 cent.
Ferry company Irish Continental Group fell almost 2 per cent to €5.53 after Irish Ferries, which it owns, cancelled more summer bookings after delivery of its new WB Yeats ferry was delayed.
Losses in miners and oil majors sent Britain’s top share index into the red on Tuesday, while housebuilding stocks also tumbled.
With a crucial vote on Brexit getting underway in the British parliament, a volatile sterling currency helped rein back the FTSE’s gains and the blue-chip FTSE 100 ended down more than 0.4 per cent.
Miners Anglo American and Antofagasta were among the top fallers, down 3.2 and 2.3 per cent as a strong dollar weighed on copper prices. Oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and BP fell 1.4 per cent.
Domino's Pizza Group was another top faller, down 5.8 per cent after the company's chief financial officer Rachel Osborne departed suddenly, with immediate effect. Domino's has now lost three financial officers in three years.
Crest Nicholson shares tumbled 4.2 per cent, leading the housebuilding sector down, after it said its margins had been hit by higher costs and flat house prices.
Elsewhere in the sector, Barratt Development, Berkeley, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey all fell 2.1 to 3.1 per cent, while mid-caps Bellway and Redrow fell 3.6 and 4.2 per cent.
Ocado, which had made gains on Monday after broker upgrades, fell back 3.3 per cent after French supermarket chain Carrefour upped the ante in the retail sector by signing an online shopping partnership with Google.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the day down 0.1 per cent, although Italy’s FTSE MIB climbed 0.2 per cent in its second day of gains.
Carrefour gained 3.1 per cent after France's largest food retailer agreed its tie-up with Google. H&M shares also climbed throughout the day to end up 5 per cent, top of the Stoxx 600. Shares in the Swedish fashion retailer have been volatile lately and chairman Stefan Persson as been increasing his stake, fuelling speculation.
Retailers gained 0.6 per cent, the top-performing sector, with London-based Ocado proving the odd one out.
French tyre maker Michelin also fell, losing 2.9 per cent after reporting higher raw material and currency costs in an investor presentation. Deutsche Post declined 2.5 per cent after a downgrade from analysts at RBC.
US stocks posted small gains in early trading as investors focused on the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting, while looking past Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
While some of the defence stocks such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman fell following the summit, the broader markets saw little impact.
The biggest percentage gainer on the S&P 500 was Twitter, which surged 6.1 per cent after JP Morgan raised its price target by $11 to $50. Tesla rose 4.6 per cent after Keybanc raised its estimates for Model 3 deliveries for the second quarter and full year. – Additional reporting: Reuters/Bloomberg