European shares fall as debt woes hit Greek stocks
Dublin market slightly outperforms European peers
Ryanair had a quiet day trading down 0.5 per cent at €11.70, which was roughly in line with industry rivals. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA
European shares dropped on Friday, weighed down by a slump in the Athens stock market, which slid to one-month lows after Greece delayed a debt payment.
Greece’s benchmark Athex General Composite (ATG) index tumbled 5 per cent, briefly dipping to its lowest level since June 6th, underperforming a 0.9 per cent decline on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index.
Greece delayed the payment to the International Monetary Fund, due on Friday, as prime minister Alexis Tsipras demanded changes to tough terms from international creditors for aid to stave off default.
Economic stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB), coupled with record low interest rates, have cushioned the impact of Greece on European stock markets overall.
Nevertheless, traders viewed the Greek impasse as an opportunity to sell European stocks, many of which have had a good run so far in 2015, with the FTSEurofirst 300 up 13 per cent, although the Greek market is down 5 per cent.
International building materials group CRH ended the day flat at €24.79 after a rocky week, which helped keep the overall index firm.
Ryanair also had a quiet day trading down 0.5 per cent at €11.70, which was roughly in line with industry rivals.
Packaging group Smurfit Kappa was perhaps the main mover, in volume terms at least, closing down nearly 2 per cent at €26.10.
This came on the back of news Dutch group Parenco was planning to switch one of their newsprint plants to container board, which will be operational from next summer.
Paddy Power was also hit by negative sentiment coming out of the gaming sector in the UK with its shares falling 1.4 per cent to below €80.
Property investment trusts, Green Reit, Hibernia Reit and Ires Reit were also weak on back of predictions of an upward shifts in rates globally.
The FTSE 100 Index fell 56.6 points to 6,804.6 following a drop of more than 90 points in the previous session as anxiety mounted over the debt-laden country’s future within the euro zone.
The London market fell almost 200 points over the course of the week after it closed at 6984.4 last Friday, making it the largest fall in percentage terms since December.
Among London stocks heading lower was mobile phone giant Vodafone after it issued a statement on talks with cable firm Liberty Global following persistent speculation over a tie-up between the two firms.
Deutsche Bank declined 2.3 per cent after it was said to be conducting an internal inquiry into possible money-laundering by Russian clients that may involve about $6 billion of transactions.
Zumiez dropped 15.5 per cent to $25.24 as it estimated current-quarter profit and revenue below analysts’ expectations.