European shares snap winning run

Bank of Ireland advances to 32 cent but Iseq closes out session marginally down

European stocks retreated, halting their longest winning streak of the year, as companies from Rolls-Royce Holdings to BNP Paribas SA reported results.

National benchmark indexes dropped in 11 of the 18 western-European markets. Germany’s DAX rose 0.6 per cent and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.2 per cent.

US stocks rose, erasing earlier losses to extend an advance that has restored $800 billion to US share values in a week, as better-than-forecast earnings and a $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable overshadowed a drop in retail sales.

In Dublin the Iseq finished marginally down just 0.14 per cent at 4912.43.


Bank of Ireland rose by 5.18 per cent to 32 cent. Results from smaller rival KBC Bank Ireland, which reported a loss of €864 million for the year following loan impairment costs of €1.06 billion, failed to dampen demand for Ireland's biggest bank. Investec described KBC's results as having "limited read-across" for Irish financials. AIB was down 1.45 per cent to 14 cent.

Kerry fell by 1.02 per cent to €51.62. Glanbia was also modestly down 0.36 per cent to €11.11.

Exploration stock Petroceltic finished up almost 1 per cent at €2.12. Petroceltic recently updated the market on its Algerian farm-out, a move which stockbroker Davy said had "positive implications for cash balances". Providence Resources , meanwhile, finished down 1.85 per cent at €2.75.

UK stocks fell for the first time in seven days as Rolls-Royce Holdings published a disappointing forecast, tumbling 14 per cent to 1,045 pence. "We expect a pause in our revenue and profit growth, reflecting offsetting trends across the business," said chief executive John Rishton.

The London-based maker of aircraft engines reported a pretax profit, excluding hedging and some one-time items, advancing to £1.76 billion last year, while sales rose 27 per cent to £15.5 billion.

Lloyds Banking Group fell 2.7 per cent to 81.32 pence.

Britain's biggest mortgage lender posted a net loss of £838 million for 2013, compared with £1.47 billion in 2012. That still missed the £519 million median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Imperial Tobacco rose 5.7 per cent to 2,351 pence, for its biggest advance in three years. The maker of Davidoff and Gauloises Blondes cigarettes said full-year earnings per share at constant exchange rates will show a modest increase, while the dividend will be raised at least 10 per cent.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.2 per cent to 331.48 at the close of trading in London after earlier losing as much as 1 per cent.

BNP Paribas retreated 2.6 per cent to €59.30. Net income fell to €127 million from €519 million a year earlier after the lender set aside $1.1 billion. The Paris-based bank said in October that it was reviewing payments that might be subject to US sanctions.

Nestlé slipped 1.5 per cent to 66.10 Swiss francs. The world's largest food company projected that revenue will rise about 5 per cent this year excluding acquisitions, disposals and currency shifts. The Kit Kat maker also reported the smallest annual sales advance in four years amid sluggish spending in developed markets.

Time Warner Cable jumped 7 per cent to $144.80. Its acquisition by Comcast combines the two largest US cable companies in an all-stock transaction. Under the deal, investors of Time Warner Cable will receive 2.875 new Comcast stock for each of their shares.

Based on Comcast’s closing price yesterday, the transaction values each Time Warner Cable share at $158.82, a 17 per cent premium. Comcast fell 3.8 per cent to $53.14.

Goodyear Tire soared 9.9 per cent to $26.55, the highest level since 2008. – (Additional reporting by Bloomberg)