European shares down on concerns over Brexit and US shutdown

Iseq Overall Index dips 0.09 per cent to 5,651.16 in Dublin as CRH slips 1.83 per cent

European shares slipped on Monday as investors remained nervous about the euro-zone economy, Brexit and the US government shutdown.


Dublin’s Iseq Overall Index of shares dipped just 0.09 per cent to 5,651.16 yesterday.

Building materials giant and index heavyweight CRH slipped 1.83 per cent to €23.63 as investors sold about 1.67 million shares in the group. About half of its business comes from the United States, where it supplies government-funded projects such as highway construction.

In a linked sector, insulation specialist Kingspan rose 2.26 per cent to €38.86. More than 830,000 of its shares changed hands in Dublin.


Housebuilder Cairn Homes added 1.23 per cent to €1.15. The company is one of a number seeking permission for large residential developments in the Republic. Rival Glenveagh inched down 0.64 per cent to 78 cent.

Elsewhere, the market's real-estate investment trusts all made ground. Hibernia Reit led the way with a 1.93 per cent gain to €1.27. Green Reit added 0.59 per cent to close at €1.374 while Irish Residential Properties Reit was up 0.88 per cent at €1.372.

Food and ingredients group Kerry climbed 2.74 per cent to €38.86, while rival Glanbia was down 1.43 per cent at €16.56.


Luxury car maker Aston Martin accelerated 1.7 per cent to 1210.6 pence sterling after announcing contingency plans for a disorderly or "no-deal" Brexit that include preparing to fly in parts and use ports other than Britain's gateway at Dover.

Irish-founded explorer Tullow Oil climbed as much as 5.5 per cent after analysts at Canada's RBC Capital Markets upgraded the stock on the back of potential finds and rising crude prices. Tullow, which has a large operation in Dublin, pared some of the gains later in the day to close 3.6 per cent up at 198p.

Gas supplier and utility Centrica tumbled 4.4 per cent to 131.25p after Jefferies' analysts downgraded the company's shares.

Investors' tills rang for British supermarkets after their cut-price German rival Aldi said UK sales had come close to £1 billion.

Marks & Spencer added 3 per cent to 260.7p on the back of the news. Tesco advanced 2.6 per cent to 202.5p while Sainsbury's gained 2.2 per cent to 267.5p.


Chipmakers were recovering from heavy losses last week after Apple’s shock revenue warning.

Austrian tech specialist AMS, which supplies the iPhone maker, surged 9.6 per cent to 20.65 Swiss francs, putting it at the top of Europe's Stoxx 600 after announcing a partnership with Chinese software maker Face++ to produce new 3D facial-recognition features for smartphones.

Broker research moved several stocks. Dutch payments firm Adyen rose 6.2 percent to €531.20 after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded it,

German digital payments specialist Wirecard, whose Irish and British business is based in Dublin, climbed 2.4 per cent to €136.45 after Bank of America Merrill Lynch also backed it.

A JP Morgan downgrade pushed tyre makers and auto parts makers lower, adding further gloom to an industry knocked by regulation and slowing Chinese sales.

Pirelli dipped 0.95 per cent to €5.64, Michelin shed 0.48 per cent to €86.94, while Gestamp was 1.13 per cent off at €5.


Wall Street rose as gains in the technology and consumer sectors helped extend Friday’s rally, with investors focused on the ongoing US-China trade talks.

Pacific Gas & Electric slumped about 22 per cent, dragging down most US utilities, after Reuters reported the company was exploring filing some or all of its business for bankruptcy protection as it faces billions of dollars in liabilities related to fatal wildfires in 2018 and 2017.

Dollar Tree jumped 5.7 per cent after activist investor Starboard Value called on the company to sell its underperforming Family Dollar business and proposed replacing a majority of its board.

Loxo Oncology surged 65.8 per cent after Eli Lilly said it would buy the cancer drug developer for about $8 billion. Lilly fell 1.2 per cent. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas