German worries weigh on European markets

European stocks decline for third day overall

The Iseq followed the bulk of European exchanges downwards today, losing 0.5 per cent. European stocks declined for a third day overall, as data showed German business sentiment fell more than expected.

US equities rose as data showing a jump in sales of new homes boosted optimism in the strength of the economy. Treasuries also climbed, and emerging markets rebounded on easing tension in Ukraine.

National benchmark indexes retreated in 13 of the 18 western European markets today. France’s CAC 40 added less than 0.1 per cent and Germany’s DAX rose 0.2 per cent. The FTSE 100 fell 0.2 per cent.

Datalex was one of the Iseq's best performers on an otherwise grey day. The travel tech company, whose systems are used by airlines to boost retail operations, has opened a new office in Beijing and is targeting strong growth in Asia. It closed the day up 2.07 per cent, but was up 3.4 per cent in early morning trading before slipping back, traders said.


Tullow Oil fell by 0.92 per cent to close at €10.83. The company gave an update today on its drilling activities in East Africa, with traders viewing the news as broadly positive for its Kenyan operations. The release came a day ahead of Tullow's capital markets day in London, when market observers are likely to seek clarity on the company's long-term plans for its various prospects.

Aer Lingus fell back 1.43 per cent at €1.38. The airline said passengers on some routes are experiencing lengthy delays because of an industrial dispute by in France.

Ryanair, which cancelled 160 flights because of the strike, shrugged off its effect to finish up 1.47 per cent.

Aviva lost 1.1 per cent to 504.5 pence, the lowest price since April. UBS cuts its recommendation on the London-based company from buy, saying management needs to do more to control costs as lower reserve growth in the life insurance business damps profitability.

Shire advanced 2.4 per cent to 4,404 pence. The Dublin- based company hired Goldman after turning down a $46 billion bid from AbbVie, the New York Times reported. AbbVie is considering raising its bid for a fourth time, sources said.

BP climbed 0.8 per cent to 523.9 pence, the highest price in more than four years. The conflict in Iraq poses a bigger risk to long-term oil prices than traders anticipate, with prices likely to rise as supply is constrained.

Altice slid 3.8 per cent to €51. Cable billionaire Patrick Drahi's investment company sold €911 million of new shares to help fund its stake increase in Numericable Group and cut debt.

Syngenta advanced 5.7 per cent to 345.80 Swiss francs. Monsanto recently explored a takeover of Syngenta in a transaction that would have allowed the world's largest seed company to move its tax location from the US to Switzerland.

BMW climbed 2.8 per cent to €94.10. UBS upgraded the car maker to buy from neutral, saying its investments in electric-car models confer a competitive advantage over rivals.

Elizabeth Arden fell 4 per cent to $27.17. The maker of Elizabeth Taylor and Britney Spears perfumes announced a restructuring program that will eliminate jobs and shut its Puerto Rico affiliate.

Micron Technology climbed 4.6 per cent to $32.69. The largest US maker of memory chips said third-quarter profit rose to $806 million, while sales climbed to $3.98 billion. Both measures exceeded analysts' projections, with limited supply in the industry bolstering prices.

Vertex surged 40 per cent to $93.32. A combination of two of the company's drugs significantly improved lung function in clinical trials on patients with the most common form of cystic fibrosis, holding out the promise of a new treatment for the genetic illness. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg)

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is Business Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Caveat column