European shares fall but Iseq bucks trend

Wall Street advances in early trading as dollar marks time

A trader wears a Donald Trump hat on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The Dow advanced in early trading.

A trader wears a Donald Trump hat on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The Dow advanced in early trading.


European shares fell on Friday and posted their biggest weekly loss since before Donald Trump won the US presidential election in November. The Stoxx 600 closed 0.1 per cent lower, marking a five-day loss of almost 1 per cent.

The pan-European index has gained around 7 per cent over the last two months, but it has slipped from its early January peak amid concerns Mr Trump may not deliver on his economic stimulus promises.


The Iseq closed out the week with a 0.5 per cent rise in the final session, as the Dublin market was lifted by a 1.3 per cent advance for its largest stock, CRH. The building materials group closed at €32.74.

However, Ryanair edged down 0.6 per cent to €14.87.

Smurfit Kappa climbed 4.8 per cent to €25.25 after analysts said an increase in its containerboard prices effective from February could drive positive earnings momentum at the paper and packaging group.

Dalata Hotels Group fell about 0.5 per cent to €4.36 despite an industry report showing improvement in hotel revenue rates. Food group Kerry, drinks group C&C and the two real estate investment trusts listed on the Irish market, Green and Hibernia, were also among the fallers.

As government bonds retreated across the EU, yields on Irish 10-year notes climbed 4 basis points to 0.99 per cent.


Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.1 per cent and posted a weekly decline of 1.9 per cent.

Pharmaceutical stock AstraZeneca was 3.4 per cent weaker, and was the biggest faller on the blue-chip FTSE 100 after rival Bristol-Myers Squibb decided not to seek accelerated US approval for a combination of two immunotherapy drugs as an initial treatment for lung cancer.

Motoring group AA also dropped, falling 6.2 per cent on analysts’ worries about operating costs.

Energy stocks were among the biggest gainers, with Amec Foster Wheeler benefiting from a SocGen upgrade to “buy”.

Chemicals maker Synthomer was one of the biggest risers among mid-cap stocks, jumping more than 11 per cent after it estimated 2016 profit ahead of market expectations after a weak sterling boosted fourth-quarter trading.


AstraZeneca’s fall weighed on Europe’s health care index, which was down 0.8 per cent. Danish insurer Tryg was also among the biggest Stoxx losers, dropping 2.9 per cent after its fourth-quarter profit missed expectations.

Shares in Dutch offshore oil industry services company SBM Offshore advanced more than 5 per cent after a media report that the company was close to settling a corruption probe with Brazilian authorities.

Danish telecoms company TDC rose 3.9 per cent after a report said telco Telia was considering a bid. TDC is itself exploring a takeover of Swedish cable TV company Com Hem .

Gains in TDC drove Europe’s Stoxx telco index up 0.6 per cent. Banks were also firmer, with Commerzbank rising 2.8 percent after a price target upgrade from analysts at Deutsche Bank. Shares in Italy’s UBI Banca were the biggest fallers among the banking stocks, ending 2.2 per cent lower.


Wall Street advanced in early trading and the dollar was little changed as Trump addressed the nation for the first time as president.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hovered near 19,800. Treasuries fell, sending the yield on the 10-year yield to 2.49 per cent.

The S&P 500 Index advanced 0.4 per cent by shortly before 12.30pm in New York, briefly paring gains as Trump gave his inaugural address.

Procter & Gamble was the top stock on the S&P and the Dow in early trading, rising 3.6 per cent after the consumer products maker reported quarterly sales and profit above expectations.

General Electric slumped after sales missed estimates. The company reported a 36 per cent jump in fourth-quarter earnings, but its shares fell as low revenue in some segments raised concerns.

(Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters)