European shares slide amid fears of threats to global growth

Most stocks on Iseq slump as air sector deflates

The European airline sector underperformed, with Ryanair closing 2%  lower at  €10.77

The European airline sector underperformed, with Ryanair closing 2% lower at €10.77

 

European shares slid on Thursday, with investors exiting positions in favour of safer assets as they waited to see if US-China talks will yield tangible results and help avert worsening trade ties which threaten to slow global growth.

Dublin

There was plenty of red on the board in Dublin on Thursday, with most stocks slumping as the Irish market followed its peers lower.

The European airline sector underperformed with IAG and Air France among those falling. Ryanair closed 2 per cent lower to €10.77.

Permanent TSB was down 0.5 per cent to €1.37 after reporting a 25 per cent rise in new lending to €300 million. AIB and Bank of Ireland ended the day down 2.25 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively.

Amongst food stocks Origin fell 1.2 per cent to €5.48, and Kerry Group was down 1.6 per cent to €101.10.Total Produce continued to rebound, closing up at €1.62 after trading as low as €1.50 earlier in the week.

Iseq heavyweight CRH was 2 per cent lower at €28.62 as peers, including Buzzi, had new numbers out.

Other fallers included Paddy Power Betfair, down 2.9 per cent to €69.78, and Smurfit Kappa which lost 1.7 per cent to close at €26.10.

Property-focused stocks including Green Reit, Ires Reit and Cairn Homes bucked the general trend, staying positive.

London

The internationally focused FTSE 100 lost 0.9 per cent and was set for its steepest weekly fall since early December, with industrials, miners and Asia-exposed stocks leading the drop.

The midcaps gave up 1.3 per cent, lagging the main index, whose losses were capped due to gains across so-called defensive stocks, which are deemed safer bets at times of economic troubles.

Britain’s biggest broadband operator BT Group slipped 4 per cent on its worst day this year after weak results and concerns of a dividend cut as its new boss vowed to roll out full-fibre broadband to 15 million homes by the mid-2020s.

Housebuilder Barratt rose 2.4 per cent after a strong forecast despite a Brexit-induced slowdown in the housing market, bucking the trend set by its peers Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon this year.

However, supermarket group Morrisons lost 1 per cent after it blamed political and economic uncertainty for a slowdown in its quarterly sales growth.

Europe

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 1.7 per cent to clock a near two-month closing low as almost all sectors declined, while the volatility gauge on euro zone blue-chips hit its highest in more than four months during the day.

Ajax was down 20 per cent to €18.80 after the club’s loss to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

Continental’s shares dived 5.3 per cent after it reported a 22 per cent slump in net profit.

Shares of luxury goods firms, broadly reliant on China for growth demand, dropped. Gucci owner Kering fell 2.7 per cent, while Paris-listed Hermes International dropped 1.8 per cent.

New York

Wall Street fell more than 1 per cent in early trading, as tensions heated up ahead of a make-or-break US-China trade meeting, which could lead to a prolonged dispute that would threaten global financial markets and economic growth.

The technology sector posted the steepest declines, slipping 1.96 per cent, dragged down by a drop in shares of iPhone-maker Apple and chipmakers, which get a large portion of their revenue from China.

Trade-sensitive industrial bellwethers were also hit, with Boeing, Caterpillar and 3M down about 2 per cent.

In a bright spot Tapestry jumped 10.6 per cent, the most among S&P companies, after the Coach handbag-maker beat quarterly profit estimates and announced a $1 billion share buyback plan.

Chevron climbed 2.1 per cent, and was among the only gainers on the Dow, after the oil major said it would not raise its $33 billion offer to buy Anadarko Petroleum. – Additional reporting: Reuters