CRH, Providence Resources, IN&M and Glanbia all close lower

In European markets advancing mining shares fail to outweigh declining retailers

World stocks climbed toward their best week in six on Friday as a near three-year high in emerging market shares and a roaring rally in metals bolstered the year’s global bull run.

Moves were mainly small ahead of speeches later by Federal Reserve and European Central Bank bosses Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi.


Iseq heavyweight CRH, the building materials company, reversed gains from earlier in the week when it issued a strong trading update. The Irish company closed down 2.11 per cent despite news on Thursday that it had sold its American distribution business for $2.63 billion.

Providence Resources, Independent News and Media and Glanbia closed down by 5.56 per cent, 2.52 per cent and 2.27 per cent respectively.


Betting group Paddy Power Betfair continued its weak streak. Following negativity around the gambling sector in the UK, the stock closed down 1.93 per cent.

On the other side of the index there were good performances from the banks. Bank of Ireland and AIB traded up, albeit marginally, and closed the day up by 0.11 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively.

Of the more significant companies, C&C Group closed up 1.6 per cent at €2.976.

Despite continued noise around Ryanair's possible bid for Air Berlin, the airline traded relatively flat on Friday, closing down 0.76 per cent.


Britain's leading share index edged lower on Friday as strength in banks and energy firms was not enough to offset a drop in retailers, which fell back as concern over competition from Amazon reared its head again.

Subprime lender Provident Financial jumped 22.5 per cent, recovering some of the heavy losses sustained on Tuesday after its second profit warning in as many months. The company said on Friday it was reorganising its beleaguered home credit business, replacing its head with immediate effect. Provident shares were still down 50 per cent on the week.

Retailers, however, limited index gains after Amazon said it would cut prices at Whole Foods Market, the food chain it acquired in June, reigniting fears of aggressive price competition for Europe's supermarkets.

Supermarket chains Tesco, Morrisons, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's were among top fallers, down by 0.4 per cent to 1.7 per cent and tracking a broader slide in European retail stocks.


European share markets closed lower, with the pan-regional FTSEurofirst 300 index slipping 0.05 per cent, even as an index of emerging market stocks rose. There was more decisive action in commodities, where most raw materials climbed.

Despite a positive start after gains in the Asia session, stocks across Europe gradually turned downward, and the Stoxx Europe 600 index edged lower as advancing mining shares failed to outweigh declining retailers. Germany's DAX index decreased 0.3 per cent.

Polish stocks hit multi-year highs on Friday even though the rally was slowed by wholesale group Eurocash's announcement it had been hit by tax fraud. Warsaw is Central Europe's best performing stock exchange this year. Its bluechip index has gained more than 26 per cent since 2016.


All the major S&P sectors were higher, with the financial index leading the gainers, followed by a gain in the energy index.

US crude oil was up marginally as the industry braces for Hurricane Harvey, which may become the biggest storm to hit the US mainland in more than a decade.

Shares of Autodesk were up after the software maker reported a smaller-than-expected loss and raised its forecast.

Ulta Beauty sank after the retailer's comparable sales and profit forecast missed estimates.

Twitter also dropped after Jefferies downgraded the stock to "hold" from "buy". –Additional reporting: Reuters

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business