Greencore suffers disastrous day on the markets

Elsewhere, sterling is boosted by the sacking of US secretary of state Rex Tillerson

The FTSE ended the day down 1.1 per cent, while the mid cap index fell 1.3 per cent.

The FTSE ended the day down 1.1 per cent, while the mid cap index fell 1.3 per cent.

 

An eventful day on the markets was dominated by a plunge by food group Greencore after a profit warning, as well as a bounce for sterling following US president Donald Trump’s sacking of secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

Dublin

Greencore suffered a disastrous day with its stock plummeting 30 per cent on the back of a profit warning that caught investors by surprise.

The Dublin-based company said it now sees its adjusted earnings per share for the year to September coming to 14.7p-15.7p, compared to current market expectations of between 15.7p and 16.6p.

Significant volumes of shares were traded. “That was the main talking point of the day,” an analyst with Davy said.

Elsewhere, Bank of Ireland traded about two million shares and finished the day down about 0.5 per cent. AIB, meanwhile, traded down to €4.81 having been higher than that in earlier trading.

Packaging company Smurfit Kappa traded between €35.80 and €36 for most of the day, with about 1.8 million shares traded, but finished the day at €35.80 per share.

Glenveagh Properties, the Irish housebuilder backed by US private equity firm Oaktree Capital, saw its stock close marginally up after it said it had invested almost €300 million of the money raised from its initial public offering last year.

Another homebuilder, Cairn Homes, finished the day up about 2.5 per cent, while buildings materials company CRH was flat.

Forecourt retailer Applegreen closed at €5.58, which was down slightly on Monday, despite reporting a rise in profits last year lifted by strong fuel margins, recent acquisitions and like-for-like growth in food and store.

London

The FTSE ended the day down 1.1 per cent, while the mid-cap index fell 1.3 per cent.

US president Donald Trump replaced Rex Tillerson with loyalist CIA director Mike Pompeo which, together with US inflation data, weighed on the dollar. That boosted sterling to a two-week high, hitting the FTSE’s international earners, in particular big consumer staples.

A half-yearly update on Britain’s economy from finance minister Philip Hammond also helped keep the pound firm as he raised his growth forecasts slightly.

Antofagasta rose 3 per cent following a well-received trading update. The Chilean miner reported a sharp rise in full-year earnings thanks to higher copper prices and said it would raise its dividend 177 per cent.

Tonic water maker Fevertree Drinks fell 3.6 per cent after hitting a record high in the previous session as a 64 per cent jump in full-year core earnings failed to excite investors.

Europe

European shares closed firmly in negative territory on Tuesday as the euro rose against a faltering dollar.

The pan-European STOXX 600 ended the session down 1 per cent, with Frankfurt’s DAX and its German exporter constituents taking the worst hit, down 1.6 per cent.

The euro, a rise in which typically hurts European blue-chip companies, climbed about 0.5 per cent against the dollar on Tuesday.

The utilities sector retreated 0.25 per cent, with losses limited by demand for German utilities RWE and E.ON as they plan to divide up the assets of power firm Innogy.

E.ON got a further boost and posted the second-best performance of the STOXX 600, up 3.9 per cent after it said it would raise its dividends for 2018 and 2019.

French telecoms company Iliad fell 9.9 per cent after missing market forecasts due to losses related to its launch in Italy.

 

New York

Losses in technology stocks weighed on Wall Street’s main indices as investors booked profits following the recent strong run and uncertainty in Washington after another high-profile exit from the Trump administration.

Shares of Microsoft, Facebook and Alphabet fell more than 1 per cent and were top losers on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. Technology stocks have rallied 11 per cent this year, the most among major 11 S&P sectors.

The markets opened higher after data showed US consumer price growth slowed in February, an indication that an anticipated pickup in inflation probably will be only gradual. – Additional reporting: Reuters