Kerry gives up gains as Iseq ends week on a dip
Equities post their worst week this year amid tensions between the US and North Korea
Wall Street stocks indexes were higher in Friday afternoon trading, on track to snap a three-day losing streak
A sell-off in heavyweight basic resources stocks prompted a third day of losses for European shares on Friday. Equities posted their worst week this year amid a ramp-up of tensions between the United States and North Korea.
The Iseq completed the week by slipping 0.6 per cent on Friday. Kerry Group gave up some of its Thursday gains, ending the session down 1.1 per cent at €76.12, while cement-maker CRH declined 1 per cent to €28.85.
Smurfit Kappa, which was one of the biggest risers on the FTSE 100 in London, posted a 1.75 per cent climb in Dublin, closing at €24.62. Analysts at Davy Research upgraded their forecasts for the paper and packaging company, citing a better environment for pricing and volume.
Ryanair also managed to avoid finishing in the red, closing more or less flat at €18.17.
Paddy Power Betfair dropped 0.6 per cent to €79.64 after an eventful week for the bookmaker. Glanbia, Ires Reit and C&C were also among the fallers, while Bank of Ireland and AIB finished in the red on a weak day for banks across Europe.
The FTSE 100 index dropped 1.1 per cent to a three-month low on Friday amid rising geopolitical tensions, with financials, miners and energy firms the biggest weights among blue chips.
Drops among cyclical sectors weighed on the index, with heavyweight miners Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Glencore all dropping between 2.9 to 3.1 per cent as tensions between the US and North Korea hit riskier assets, including metals prices. The broader UK mining sector fell 2.7 per cent.
Friday was the FTSE’s third straight day of losses after US president Donald Trump said that his earlier remark to unleash “fire and fury” on Pyongyang may not have been tough enough.
Among the early risers, soft drinks bottler Coca Cola HBC jumped as much as 2.5 per cent and touched a fresh record high after several brokers upped their price targets for the stock. However, it gave up those early gains, ending the session flat.
UK mid-cap stocks also came under pressure, falling 0.8 per cent as shares in Dixons Carphone slumped more than 7 per cent to their lowest level since the aftermath of the Brexit vote last June. Domino’s Pizza also fell after the takeaway firm agreed a partnership with its London franchise business.
Volatility jumped and the pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 1.1 per cent, taking weekly losses to 2.8 per cent, its worst since early November 2016. Euro zone stocks and blue-chips also dropped 0.9 per cent.
In Frankfurt, the Dax was flat, but the Cac 40 in Paris fell 1.1 per cent.
ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steel producer, which is quoted on the Cac 40, joined in the decline in basic resources stocks, dropping 4.5 per cent.
All 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600 fell.
Belgian drugmaker Galapagos was a rare bright spot, finishing up 4.8 per cent as brokers upgraded their view on the stock which also outperformed on Thursday after a successful drug trial.
The VStoxx Index of euro zone volatility gained 2.1 per cent, reaching its highest level since April.
Wall Street stocks indexes were higher in afternoon trading, on track to snap a three-day losing streak, as tepid inflation data brought back investors to riskier assets despite heightened tensions between the US and North Korea.
However, bank stocks, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, were down about 1 per cent on the dimming prospects of another rate hike this year.
Shares of Snap, the owner of Snapchat, were down as much as 14.23 per cent and hit an all-time low following a miss on revenue and daily active users. At least 12 brokerages cut their price targets on the stock. – Additional reporting: Reuters/Bloomberg