Global markets slide on Chinese trade fears

Market report: AIB shares fell 2.1% on news of new CEO as INM shares recovered losses

US retailer Costco Wholesale dropped 8.10 per cent after the warehouse club retailer reported a fall in quarterly gross margin.

US retailer Costco Wholesale dropped 8.10 per cent after the warehouse club retailer reported a fall in quarterly gross margin.

 

European shares closed lower for a second day on Friday as weak European and Chinese data renewed worries about global growth and sent a pan-European benchmark on course for its worst quarter since 2011.

Dublin

The Iseq finished the session down marginally, by 0.3 per cent, on very thin trading volumes.

AIB, which announced that Colin Hunt will take over as its new chief executive, finished the day at €3.55, down 2.1 per cent.

Independent News & Media rallied to 6 cent per share. The stock finished up by 5.3 per cent, clawing back some of its losses earlier this week after further revelations about its handling of staff data and news of the impending exit of its chief financial officer.

Kerry Group traded down marginally, ending the session at €89.80 per share, after it announced it had agreed two US acquisitions for €325 million.

London

GVC Holdings hit the jackpot ahead of a UK parliamentary vote on legislation next week that Citi analysts say will remove a risk of a major cash outlay to former Ladbrokes shareholders. The stock was up 9 per cent, the top gainer on the FTSE 100.

Mining stocks dropped as London copper was on course for a third straight weekly loss. Glencore dropped 1.7 per cent while Rio Tinto , BHP, and Anglo American fell between 0.6 and 1.5 per cent.

Housebuilders Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, and Barratt Development fell 1.8 to 2.7 per cent as doubts persisted over UK prime minister Theresa May’s ability to secure tweaks to her Brexit deal from EU leaders.

Construction firm Balfour Beatty climbed 4.1 per cent after saying full-year profits would beat expectations thanks to the proceeds from the sale of an infrastructure investment this month.

Construction materials firm Low & Bonar, however, saw its shares fall 16.8 per cent, the biggest drop on the FTSE small-caps index, after it said tough market and trading conditions persisted during its fourth quarter.

Drugmaker Indivior topped the FTSE 250, up 8.3 per cent, after BAML upped its price target on the stock.

Europe

The carmaker and auto supplier sector was down 1.44 per cent, the biggest loser. A drop in European car sales last month deepened worries about slowing demand following the introduction of tougher new emissions tests.

The luxury sector was also in focus after Hennessey, Moet and Louis Vuitton owner LVMH announced plans to buy boutique hotel group Belmond in a deal worth $3.2 billion. While the deal will shore up its niche hospitality business, analysts questioned whether it will be a significant boost to earnings. LVMH ended the day down 1.5 per cent.

M&A dominated other headlines too. German online classifieds company Scout24 jumped 13.6 per cent, topping the STOXX 600 leader board after the Financial Times reported it was exploring a sale that could see it taken out of the market in one of the country’s largest leveraged buyouts in years.

New York

Johnson & Johnson leading the losses after Reuters reported the company knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder.

The company’s shares tumbled 11.46 per cent, on pace for their biggest one-day percentage drop in 16 years. The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and the Dow Industrials.

The technology index, which includes a number of companies with global operations, especially China, dropped 1.31 per cent. Apple fell 2.23 per cent, with some reports citing a top analyst slashing iPhone sales estimate for the decline.

Costco Wholesale dropped 8.10 per cent after the warehouse club retailer reported a fall in quarterly gross margin. The stock was the biggest laggard on the consumer staples index.

Walgreens Boots Alliance as another healthcare stock that declined, down 4.17 per cent, after Goldman Sachs downgraded the drugstore owner’s shares. Cisco Systems slipped 2.53 per cent after brokerage Instinet downplayed the company’s stock, citing weak IT spending in 2019.

- Additional reporting: Reuters