European stocks end below record high as mining losses offset tech rally

Greencore plummets in London as banks help Iseq stay in positive territory

European stocks closed flat on Tuesday, as a billion-dollar German property deal and a rally in technology shares were offset by losses in major mining stocks due to concerns over Chinese markets.


The Iseq index closed up 0.4 per cent to 8197.37, with banks helping to keep it in positive territory.

Bank of Ireland and AIB were up 1.4 per cent and 2 per cent respectively as they gained on news of less competition in the mortgage market as KBC and PTSB close off the exemption option for first-time buyers.

Staying with property and both Cairn Homes and Glenveagh closed up 1.3 per cent.


Insurer FBD was another mover, gaining 5.5 per cent.

Ryanair, which has been very volatile of late, closed 1.3 per cent higher, while Smurfit Kappa rose 1 per cent.

Insulation products manufacturer Kingspan was up 0.1 per cent having earlier performed strongly as Belgian rival Recticel turned down a bid.


London’s FTSE 100 index was dragged lower by energy and mining stocks on Tuesday, while subprime lender Amigo was on track for its worst day on record after a British court rejected its proposed redress scheme.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index fell 0.3 per cent with oil heavyweights BP and Royal Dutch Shell falling 1.2 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively.

Miners including Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Glencore and BHP were also among the biggest drags on the FTSE 100, with shares falling between 1.2 per cent and 1.6 per cent.

However, losses were limited by industrial software company Aveva, which gained 1.6 per cent after saying it was confident about the year ahead as the business environment had improved in most of its major markets.

The domestically-focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index was flat with Royal Mail up 6.6 per cent to the top of the index after Peel Hunt upgraded it to "buy" from "hold".

Amigo's shares tumbled 55.3 per cent after a court refused to sanction a proposed rescue plan to manage its large backlog of redress claims.

Greencore was another big mover as the convenience food maker announced a first-half loss. Its share price slumped by more than 15 per cent.

Among other stocks, AstraZeneca fell 0.8 per cent after Britain's competition regulator said it was reviewing the drugmaker's $39 billion buyout of US-based Alexion.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended largely unchanged at 445.20 points, after hitting a record high of 447.15 earlier in the day.

Germany's DAX rose 0.2 per cent, having hit a record high earlier in the day on news that Europe's largest residential property group Vonovia agreed to take over its rival Deutsche Wohnen for about €18 billion. Deutsche Wohnen surged 15.7 per cent, the most on the Stoxx 600, while Vonovia fell 6.1 per cent. Europe's wider real-estate index added 0.4 per cent, briefly touching a one-year high.

Technology stocks rallied 1.3 per cent after their Wall Street peers climbed overnight on fresh insistence from US Federal Reserve officials that loose policy would stay.

HeidelbergCement gained 0.2 per cent after US construction materials supplier Martin Marietta Materials said it would buy the German company's assets in California and Arizona for $2.3 billion.

Wall Street

Wall Street’s main indexes slipped in choppy trading on Tuesday, as investors cautiously awaited crucial data later in the week for more clues on the path of inflation.

Exxon Mobil shed 2.3 per cent, weighing the most on the benchmark S&P 500, after sources said BlackRock had backed four candidates to join the energy giant's board.

Airline stocks were a bright spot after United Airlines and Hawaiian Holdings issued upbeat air traffic and ticket-sale estimates that sent their shares up 3.2 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively.

Boeing rose 1.6 per cent after aircraft-leasing business SMBC Aviation Capital agreed to buy 14 more 737 Max jets. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist