European stocks fall as markets size up Trump trade moves

CRH, Paddy Power Betfair, Kingspan and Smurfit Kappa all decline in Dublin trading

US president Donald Trump: set to meet Chinese president Xi Jinping. Photograph: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

US president Donald Trump: set to meet Chinese president Xi Jinping. Photograph: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

 

European stocks declined for the first time in five days, with cyclical shares leading losses, as investors assessed the longest run of quarterly gains since 2014. In Ireland, the Iseq Overall Index declined by 0.7 per cent to 6,611.27.

DUBLIN

Many of the Iseq’s heavyweight stocks – CRH, Paddy Power Betfair, Kingspan and Smurfit Kappa – were down yesterday on a day when European shares declined generally. Food and beverage stocks such as C&C, Kerry and Glanbia rose in what dealers suggested was a defensive move by investors.

Elsewhere, Irish Residential Properties Reit fell by 0.8 per cent to €1.23 after being refused planning permission for 456 apartments in Sandyford. The company plans to appeal the decision.

Bank of Ireland declined by 3.8 per cent to 22.6 cent, reflecting weakness in the sector across Europe, albeit on light volumes.

LONDON

Britain’s top share index fell on Monday in choppy trade, beginning the second quarter on a weak note as oil-related stocks reversed course to trade lower and banks also weighed.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed 0.6 per cent lower at 7,282.69 points as markets traded lower following news that a coalition of US states and municipalities have begun legal action against US president Donald Trump’s administration over energy efficiency standards.

BP retreated 0.3 per cent and Royal Dutch Shell fell 1 per cent. British banks also lagged and took about 13.5 points off the index, the biggest sectoral drag. Barclays fell 1.6 per cent and Royal Bank of Scotland was down 0.9 per cent, in line with a broader decline among continental lenders.

Among individual fallers, ITV dropped 2.6 per cent and gave back a large part of the gains it made on Friday on the back of M&A speculation.

Late on Friday, ITV jumped following a regulatory ownership filing that fuelled speculation of renewed Liberty Global interest in the company.

Retailer Next was another sizable faller, down 3.6 per cent after Exane BNP Paribas cut its rating on the stock.

EUROPE

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.5 per cent at the close, erasing an earlier advance of as much as 0.4 per cent. Banks declined the most, followed by carmakers and insurers.

The Stoxx 600 is entering April with a decline after posting its longest run of quarterly gains since 2014, and investors last week added the most money to European equity funds in a year.

With a meeting between Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping coming up, “this week will be all about reappraisal of the Trump trade into the new quarter and whether sufficient optimism and momentum remains”, Mike van Dulken, an analyst at Accendo Markets, wrote in a note.

Germany’s Dax Index dropped 0.5 per cent, after briefly rising as much as 0.5 per cent to surpass its 2015 record close.

Among shares active on corporate news, Imagination Technologies Group tumbled 62 per cent after saying Apple would stop using its intellectual property for new products in 15 months to two years.

NEW YORK

Stocks fell in early trading Monday after auto manufacturers reported worse-than-expected US sales for March.

The S&P 500 Index was down 0.42 per cent 2,352.82 at 1:01pm in New York, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.36 per cent to 20,588.83. Auto retailers, auto manufacturers and auto parts and equipment makers were the worst-performing industry groups in the S&P 500.

Ford Motor dropped 2.32 per cent, General Motors declined 3.82 per cent and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles lost 4.85 per cent.

As the second quarter gets going, political developments threaten to cloud the improving global economic outlook. This week, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the minutes of its previous meeting and the non-farm payrolls report is due.

Earlier on Monday, the Institute for Supply Management released data showing that factories continued to expand production at a robust pace in March.

The Nasdaq 100 Index fell 0.26 per cent and the Russell 2000 Index was down 1.07 per cent.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg and Reuters