European shares decline on weak China data and fears over Greece

Iseq closes down 0.4 % on quiet day in Dublin while US stocks little changed as signs point to Fed raising interest rates in September

European shares fell yesterday on weak economic data out of China and uncertainty about Greece’s debt negotiations. US stocks were little changed after falling early in the session. China reported inflation data that suggested the world’s second-biggest economy was still struggling, even though Beijing is expected to add more policy stimulus. On top of this, concerns about a lack of progress in talks between Greece and its creditors weighed on shares.

DUBLIN

The Iseq index of leading shares closed down 0.4 per cent at 6.058 on what traders described as a quiet day with no significant corporate news.

Aer Lingus

and

Ryanair

followed other European and US airlines into negative territory.

Ryanair

was down almost 1 per cent, to €11.54.

Aer Lingus

ended the day 0.5 per cent lower, at €2.42.

Iseq heavyweight CRH was down 1.1 per cent, at €24.53, while international packaging group Smurfit Kappa bucked the trend by gaining 1 per cent, to close at €25.85.

Commercial property groups were among the biggest movers in the capital with Hibernia Reit up 1.5 per cent, to €1.28, and Green Reit down 2 per cent, to €1.51. Hotel group Dalata also closed the day down 2 per cent, to €3.61.

LONDON

Britain’s top shares fell as a new turnaround plan from Europe’s biggest bank,

HSBC

, failed to impress markets.

HSBC

took the most points off the blue-chip FTSE 100 index. Its shares closed down 0.9 per cent after investors and analysts questioned whether its pledge to shed almost 50,000 jobs would be enough to lift earnings. JPMorgan analysts called the plan “evolution, not revolution”.

Mining stocks Anglo American and Rio Tinto also took a hit from a broker downgrade.

The FTSE 100 index closed down 0.5 per cent, at 6,753.80 points.

Shares of Sky underperformed after rival BT stepped up competitive pressure with a new free offer to customers for Champions League European soccer matches. Sky shares fell 1.1 per cent, while BT Group was up 0.4 per cent.

EUROPE

On its sixth straight day of losses, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed down 0.5 per cent, making for its lowest level since February 19th.

Spain's Amadeus led the fallers in Europe. It fell 3.8 per cent, to €35.30, as Air France-KLM said it was considering following a move by Lufthansa to levy a charge on tickets booked via third parties on global distribution systems.

Travel IT firm Amadeus would have to use a different system to avoid the charge. Its stock is down nearly 15 per cent in June, with broker Kepler Chevreux cutting its target price on Amadeus to €39.20 from €43 , saying Lufthansa's move made Amadeus's outlook uncertain.

Deutsche Bank fell 2.5 per cent after Germany's top lender said its offices in Frankfurt had been searched by German prosecutors seeking evidence related to client securities transactions.

NEW YORK

US stocks were little changed in early afternoon trading following three straight days of decline, as another batch of strong economic data gave weight to views the

Federal Reserve

could raise interest rates in September.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.11 per cent, at 17,785.73, the S&P 500 was up 0.12 per cent, at 2,081.83, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.25 per cent, at 5,008.97.

Apple fell 0.6 per cent to $126.94, down for the fourth straight session, and was the biggest drag on the Nasdaq and the S&P 500, a day after the launch of its streaming music service, Apple Music. Analysts said the new service was unlikely to move the needle on the company's revenue or earnings per share.

Lululemon rose 9.7 per cent to $67.50 after the Canadian yogawear retailer raised its full-year revenue and earnings forecast. – Additional reporting by Reuters