European shares slip on Iraq worries

Aer Lingus and Petroceltic record gains as Iseq closes down 0.7% at 4,861

Aer Lingus shares climbed almost 1 per cent to €1.42 at the close of business in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Aer Lingus shares climbed almost 1 per cent to €1.42 at the close of business in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Global markets remained in the red today as investors were unsettled by turmoil in Iraq and the prospect of a meeting of US monetary chiefs later this week. DUBLIN Aer Lingus shares climbed almost 1 per cent to €1.42 at the close of business in Dublin yesterday. Aer Lingus and the Dublin Airport Authority were yesterday told to significantly increase payments into a workers’ pension fund to plug a €780 million hole.

Petroceltic, which yesterday announced it had reached an agreement with shareholder Worldview Capital Management over a $100 million proposed placing, rose 2.6 per cent to end on €1.98. Worldview has undertaken to vote in favour of the placing at adjourned extraordinary general meeting of company.

Dragon Oil fell 2.2 per cent to €7.43, while Providence stock was down 3.2 per cent to €1.80. Shares in Origin Enterprises surged 4.2 per cent to close at €8.75.

The Iseq index of Irish shares closed down 36 points or 0.7 per cent lower at 4,861. LONDON UK stocks slipped for a second day, following the FTSE 100 Index’s largest weekly drop in two months, as investors weighed increasing violence in Iraq after Sunni insurgents captured more territory.

BT lost 2.4 per cent after the Sunday Times reported that the company may need to increase its pension contributions.

Persimmon posted its biggest two-day slump since August, while Bovis Homes slipped 1 per cent as a report showed UK house prices rose this month at the slowest pace in 2014. Fresnillo rose 1.9 per cent, its sixth day of gains, while Polymetal International advanced 1 per cent.

The FTSE 100 fell 23.21 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 6,754.64 at the close of trading in London. EUROPE European stocks edged lower yesterday, adding to last week’s retreat, as mounting violence from Iraq to Kenya weighed on travel shares and prompted investors to cash in on recent outperformers.

Airline easyJet and cruise operators Carnival both fell more than 1 per cent as Brent crude rose to nearly $113 per barrel on concerns over disruptions to oil exports from Iraq, the second-largest OPEC producer.

French engineering group Alstom extended losses in late trade after Germany’s Siemens and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries presented a joint offer to the French firm, challenging a General Electric bid. The US firm was quoted as saying it would not engage in a bidding war.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.5 per cent to 345.52 at the close of trading in London. France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.7 per cent, while Germany’s DAX retreated 0.3 per cent. US Fighting in Iraq and Ukraine damped global equity markets, even though merger activity offset some declines on Wall Street, where stocks traded near break-even.

Medical device maker Medtronic agreed to buy Dublin-based Covidien for $42.9 billion and shift its executive headquarters to Ireland in the latest move by US firms to harvest lower tax rates abroad. Medtronic shares shed 0.4 per cent to $60.48 while Covidien jumped 21.6 per cent to $87.58 in early trading.

Yahoo, whose valuation is partially pinned on its stake in Alibaba, declined after China’s largest e-commerce company reported slower quarterly revenue growth. The shares of Yahoo, which owns 23 per cent of Alibaba, dropped 4.7 per cent to $35.20 at 12.53 in New York.

Fusion-it surged 22.8 per cent to $11.40 after agreeing to be acquired by SanDisk for $1.1 billion.

Williams Companies climbed 24.1 per cent to $58.54 as the biggest lift to the S&P. The pipeline operator said it agreed to acquire control of Access Midstream Partners for $5.99 billion as the first step toward merging it with its operations. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters)