European shares dip after two-day rally

Carlsberg warning on Russia sparks concern

Trading was relatively flat across most of Europe following two consecutive days of gains. In the US, stocks rose to within five points of an all-time high.

DUBLIN The Iseq underperformed the rest of European markets for a second day in a row, even with generally flat trading, losing 0.8 per cent.

CRH continued to be the stock of focus, also falling for a second day and explaining the general trend in Dublin. The building materials company had results on Tuesday which continued to impact, translating yesterday into a close of minus 3.6 per cent or €17.15.

Smurfit finished down 0.6 per cent with no major news, and Mincon also fell, by 6.2 per cent with very low volume. Kerry finished down 1.3 per cent and C&C dropped 1.7 per cent, completing a negative day's pattern.

There was no bounce for Ryanair, which closed down 0.6 per cent, at €6.81, on news of the appointment of a new chief technology officer at the airline, a management position unlikely to affect stock performance, according to traders.

LONDON UK stocks fell, following the biggest five-day rally since April, as minutes from the latest monetary-policy meeting of the Bank of England showed two of the nine officials argued for an interest-rate increase this month.


The FTSE 100 Index declined 23.83 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6,755.48 at the close in London. The benchmark gauge rallied 2.2 per cent in the five trading days through yesterday amid speculation that the BOE will delay raising interest rates. The broader FTSE All-Share Index dropped 0.4 per cent.

Balfour Beatty slumped 6.7 per cent to 238.9 pence. Barratt Developments fell 2.4 per cent to 359.6 pence after climbing 10 per cent in the past seven trading days. Persimmon lost 2 per cent to 1,322 pence. The York, England-based company rallied 11 per cent since August 8th through yesterday. Centrica added 0.6 per cent to 316.7 pence, while SSE increased 0.8 per cent to 1,517 pence.

EUROPE European stocks were little changed, following the biggest two-day gain since April, as investors awaited central-bank cues on the interest-rate outlook.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped less than 0.1 per cent to 335.3 at the close of trading in London, paring losses of as much as 0.4 per cent. The benchmark gauge rallied 1.8 per cent in the past two days as concern eased over the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

National benchmark-equity indexes fell in 10 of the 18 markets in Western Europe today. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.3 per cent, and Germany’s DAX slid 0.2 per cent.

Carlsberg dropped 3.6 per cent to 520 kroner. The Danish company, Russia's biggest brewer, said operating profit will rise at a low- to mid-single-digit pace excluding acquisitions. Luxottica Group retreated 3.6 per cent to €39.09 after Il Sole 24 Ore reported founder Leonardo del Vecchio may ask chief executive officer Andrea Guerra to resign. Heineken jumped 8.3 per cent to €57.31. The world's third-largest brewer posted first-half earnings before interest and taxes of €1.45 billion ($1.93 billion), excluding some items.

NEW YORK US stocks rose, sending the S& Poor's 500 Index to within five points of an all- time high, amid speculation the Federal Reserve will continue to support low interest rates as the economy recovers. The S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent to 1,983.83 in New York, approaching an all-time high of 1,987.98. The Dow Jones rose 31.54 points, or 0.2 per cent.

Staples declined 1.7 per cent to $11.42. The world's largest office-supply chain will shut about 140 locations this year, part of a store-closing plan announced earlier, as the retailer responds to online competition. JM Smucker fell 1.6 per cent to $101.84 after the maker of peanut butter and fruit spreads reported earnings that missed analysts' estimates.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times