Markets retreat from recent highs
Traders in Dublin say first signs of change in buyer-seller ratio emerged yesterday
The big news of the day was that Paddy Power expects full-year operating profits to be about €11 million lower than it forecast three months ago. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire
There was a step back from the record levels seen in Wall Street yesterday that set a downbeat tone for markets. Traders in Dublin said the recent past had seen buyers far outnumbering sellers but that the first signs of that changing emerged yesterday and they expect the market to come off its recent highs over the coming weeks.
The Iseq closed at 4,415, a fall of 0.94 per cent. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.7 per cent to 1,295.82 points.
The big news of the day was that Paddy Power expects full-year operating profits to be about €11 million lower than it forecast three months ago. The group said results had gone against it since July, particularly at the Australian Spring Horse Racing Carnival and Champions League soccer.
The stock closed at €57.45, a fall of slightly more than 8 per cent. It was the most traded share on the exchange.
Independent News & Media rose a further 1.5 per cent, to close at €0.13, as retail investors continued to respond positively to the news of its pending capital raising round and the increase in the shareholding of Dermot Desmond to 15 per cent, from 6.4 per cent.
CRH was the second-most traded share on the exchange – it fell 0.32 per cent to €18.66, while Ryanair rose 1.53 per cent to close at €5.57. Smurfit closed at €17.30, a fall of 1.14 per cent, while Bank of Ireland fell 1.47 per cent, to €0.26.
FBD Holdings issued an interim management statement in which it said it was confident it would deliver full-year operating earnings. It closed at €16, a fall of 6.98 per cent.
EasyJet shares soared after an investor bonus worth £175 million helped the budget airline defy turbulence in the sector.
The blue-chip stock climbed 7 per cent in a session when markets suffered a hangover from the flurry of Wall Street records seen on Monday.
The risers board in London was dominated by EasyJet as the Luton-based carrier continued to find favour with investors. Shares jumped 89p to 1345p. Elsewhere in the top flight, a well-received trading update from ITV prompted a bout of profit taking. Shares were 2.1p lower at 184.7p, even though the broadcaster said its revenues grew 6 per cent in the nine months to September.
Outside the top flight, bookmaker Ladbrokes was a faller in the FTSE 250 Index after Paddy Power issued a profits warning due to a run of poor sporting results. Ladbrokes dropped 3.2p to 175p and William Hill eased 7.5p to 361.3p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Aberdeen Asset Management, down 14.5p to 475.2p, Anglo American down 38.5p to 1400p, Intertek down 79p to 3102p and International Airlines Group down 8.5p to 353.5p.
European shares fell in thin trade as negative comments from US billionaire investor Carl Icahn drew attention to a mixed earnings season. Royal KPN NV climbed 1.4 per cent to €2.48 as Credit Suisse Group AG raised its rating on the phone firm to outperform, which is similar to buy, from neutral. Commerzbank, Germany’s second-biggest bank, retreated 1.4 per cent to €10.01. Pharmaceuticals firm Stada Arzneimittel AG dropped 2.4 per cent to €36.76 after Berenberg Bank downgraded the shares to hold from buy.
A recovery in the US housing market helped Home Depot top profit and sales estimates for the third quarter, prompting the number one home improvement chain to raise its fiscal-year outlook for the third time this year. Its stock hit a lifetime high at $82.25. At midday, Home Depot was up 1.7 per cent at $81.
Among the day’s drags, Best Buy reported a quarterly profit, reversing a year-ago loss, boosted by tight cost controls. But there was also concern about pressure on margins during the holiday season and the stock fell 8.4 per cent to $39.90. – (Additional reporting Reuters, Bloomberg)