European stocks hit by commodity slump

CRH and Paddy Power both rise, with slight falls for Ryanair and Smurfit Kappa

CRH gained 1.07%  to close at €27.39 after more than 880,000 of its shares changed hands in Dublin

CRH gained 1.07% to close at €27.39 after more than 880,000 of its shares changed hands in Dublin


European stocks declined as commodity producers slid on a stronger dollar, with healthcare and leisure-related shares also falling.



Bookmaker Paddy Power gained another 1.24 per cent to end the day at €118.25.

Low-cost airline Ryanair slid 1.18 per cent to €14.25. The stock put in a series of strong performances last week.

Packaging group Smurfit Kappa dipped 0.66 per cent to €24.95. Shipping company Irish Continental Group tumbled 2.24 per cent to €5.23.



Morrison was down 2.6 per cent and Sainsbury 1.6 per cent. Some traders warned of the risk of a rights issue at Tesco, which fell 3.7 per cent.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was down 0.5 per cent at the close at 6,305.49 points, after recording its best weekly performance in a month last week.

Shares in BHP Billiton, Glencore, Anglo American and Antofagasta were all down between 1.2 to 2.3 percent, with the UK mining index retreating 1.1 percent. Copper hit a new 6½ year low on slowing demand in China and a stronger dollar. Some other metals also traded near multi-year troughs.

Shares in oil firms were volatile. After a weak start, they recovered ground following comments from Saudi Arabia that it remained ready to work with other producing and exporting countries to stabilise prices.

However, the sector then reversed the gains to trade mostly in negative territory. Royal Dutch Shell was down 0.5 per cent, and BP retreated 0.1 per cent. Security-related stocks outperformed the broader market after Britain decided to boost its anti-terrorism spending by 30 per cent.

Britain also plans to increase the number of stealth fighter jets it can launch from aircraft carriers over the next decade, chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne said on Sunday. Shares in Rolls-Royce, a leading provider of defence aero engines and services, rose 3.1 per cent, the top gainer in the FTSE 100 index, while BAE Systems was up 1 percent.



They got a further temporary boost as oil rose after the Saudi Press Agency reported that the world’s biggest crude exporter was willing to cooperate with Opec and non-Opec members to steady the market.

Among other stocks moving on corporate news, Credit Suisse Group fell 2.9 per cent after completing a capital increase through the sale of 58 million shares. RWE slid 4.7 per cent after its chief executive was reported as saying uncertainty over German energy policy was making it difficult to secure financing to expand its business.

Wincor Nixdorf rose 5.9 per cent after Diebold agreed to buy its German rival to create the biggest maker of cash machines and security systems.



GameStop tumbled 11.7 per cent to $34.66 after the video games retailer reported lower quarterly sales and profit. Kellogg rose 3.2 per cent to $68.38 after Credit Suisse raised its rating to “outperform”.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,980 to 927. On the Nasdaq, 1,648 issues rose and 998 fell. The S&P 500 index showed 21 new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq had 49 new highs and 48 new lows.