Global rout continues with no let up for banks

Iseq completes biggest six-day slump since 2011, down another 0.5%

Global stocks are on the precipice of a bear market as a fresh slide in crude and the perceived creditworthiness of European banks added to doubts about the strength of the worldwide economy.

The Iseq in Dublin completed its biggest six-day slump since 2011, down another 0.5 per cent yesterday.


Bank of Ireland

came under pressure, along with the rest of the European banking sector.


Traders said it was the most heavily traded stock on the exchange, with more than €100 million worth of its stock changing hands. It finished the session down 2.75 per cent, to 24.8 cents. At one stage in the afternoon, it was down 7 per cent before a late rally.

Paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa also endured a tough day ahead of its results due out today. It finished the session down 4 per cent.

Bright spots on the Iseq were few and far between, although Ryanair rose 2.2 per cent on the back of a flurry of late trading. More than €90 million of its shares changed hands. Kingspan, the Cavan insulation group, also performed well, rising 4.6 per cent.


A slump in miners sent Britain’s stocks to their biggest three-day selloff since August. The FTSE 100 Index dropped 1 per cent to its lowest level since November 2012, reversing gains of as much as 0.9 per cent.

Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Glencore dropped more than 5.8 per cent.

Holiday operator TUI Group also saw its share price come under pressure as holidaymakers shunned Turkey in the face of terrorist attacks and continued fighting in Syria. TUI - which reported holidays to Turkey were down 40 per cent - saw its share price drop 15p to 1083p.

Rival holiday firm Thomas Cook also saw shares drop nearly 2 per cent to ahead of its update to the market tomorrow.

Among stocks that rose, WPP climbed 3.4 per cent after US peer Omnicom Group reported profit that beat estimates.


Goldman Sachs Group

says it remains confident that European banks have “ample liquidity,” with deposits flowing in and higher capital buffers, reducing the risk of repeating the financial crisis.

Commerzbank fell 4.4 per cent to its lowest price since July 2013. Swedbank slid 5.7 per cent as Sweden's biggest mortgage bank ousted its chief executive officer. Svenska Handelsbanken added 1.6 per cent after reporting a 35 per cent jump in fourth-quarter profit.

ArcelorMittal slumped 11 per cent after brokers, including JPMorgan Chase and ING Groep, cut their ratings on the steelmaker to the equivalent of hold.

Vestas Wind Systems jumped 7.5 per cent after it forecast record sales in 2016 and boosted its dividend.

Gamesa Tecnologica advanced 5.6 per cent after people familiar with the matter said that Siemens was close to a deal to combine its wind business with the Spanish company's operations.


Five of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower heading into the afternoon, with energy down 2.9 per cent and financials off 0.9 per cent.

Benchmark Brent crude prices were down 5 percent after the morning's trading. Facebook, Alphabet and Microsoft gave up early gains to trade down about 1 per cent.

Chevron, down 3.5 per cent, and Exxon, off 1.7 per cent, weighed heavily on the S&P and the Dow. JPMorgan and Citigroup, both down 1.7 per cent, led the decline in bank stocks.

Viacom tumbled 15.4 per cent, set for its worst day in more than seven years, and Twenty-First Century Fox dropped 3 per cent after the two media companies posted lower-than-expected revenue.

Other media stocks also fell. Disney, scheduled to report after the close, was off 1.3 per cent. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters/PA

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times