European shares retreat as US benchmarks fall from all-time highs

Iseq unchanged as insulation and buildings materials group Kingspan gains

Traders working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street today. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Declines in banks and miners sent European stocks lower for the first time in eight days, while investors also assessed disappointing corporate outlooks.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.4 per cent at the close. Nestlé and NN Group were among shares that declined after their earnings updates.

American equity benchmarks meanwhile fell from all-time highs as investors took stock after a week-long rekindling of Trump trades amid optimism that the economy can withstand higher interest rates.



The Iseq index followed other European indices in putting in a disappointing performance, closing unchanged at 6,546.45.

Insulation and buildings materials group Kingspan was one of the few bright stars, gaining 1.5 per cent to €29.87 a day before it is due to publish its latest results.

As with many other European banking institutions, Bank of Ireland ended lower, down 3.6 per cent to 24.1 cent. Permanent TSB was flat at €2.72.

Ires Reit, which announced a 52 per cent jump in full-year profits earlier in the week, held on to most of its gains, closing up at €1.22. Hotels group Dalata, which has underperformed of late, saw increased volume on Thursday as it gained 2 per cent to €4.57.

Packaging group Smurfit Kappa was up 1 per cent to €25.80 on positive pricing numbers out of Germany and increased prices from peers.

Ryanair closed down 1 per cent to €14.31 as new data from Norwegian Air impacted on sentiment towards low cost airlines.


Britain’s top share index retreated from a one-month high on Thursday, weighed down by a fall among oil firms and those trading ex-dividend, while mid-cap engineer Cobham slumped after results.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended the day down 0.4 per cent at 7,273.95 points, in line with a broader decline among European indexes. The FTSE dropped 28.46 points, of which 27.64 were due to ex-divs, according to Reuters.

A number of heavyweight companies dropped after trading without entitlement to their latest dividend payout. AstraZeneca , BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Imperial Brands all fell between 1.2 per cent to 3.4 per cent.

Engineering firm Cobham closed down 15.1 per cent to seal its second-worst ever day, after yet another profit warning. Drax Group was 5.3 per cent lower after reporting a disappointing set of results


European equities fell after seven straight sessions of gains, with weaker metal prices weighing on miners.

Air France-KLM jumped 12.6 per cent after reporting better-than-expected operating profit for 2016 and said it had made a "resilient" start to 2017. International Consolidates Airlines Group and Lufthansa shares rose 0.6 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively.

Shares in German fashion house Hugo Boss rose 6.6 per cent after a report that the holding company of Belgium's richest man, Albert Frere, has taken a stake of nearly 3 per cent and wants to increase it further.

Mobile telecom equipment maker Ericsson advanced 4.4 per cent on a media report saying that Cisco was open to larger acquisitions, while IT services group Capgemini added 3 per cent after saying that it was targeting higher 2017 earnings.


Wall Street dipped, weighed down by energy stocks as oil prices dropped and as banks shares fell for the first time in six days.

Wells Fargo was the biggest drag on the S&P, slipping 1.2 per cent after Credit Suisse downgraded its stock to "neutral" from "outperform".

TripAdvisor sank 9.3 per cent and was the biggest percentage loser on the S&P and Nasdaq 100 after posting lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit.

NetEase jumped 12 per cent to $293.06 following the Chinese online game developer's revenue beat.

(Additional reporting: agencies)

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist