European stocks were little changed today as investors signalled they are likely to hold fire until they see stronger signs of a recovery. Values slumped by 4.1 per cent last week on the back of an International Monetary Fund report that cut global growth forecasts.
Deutsche Postbank strategist Heinz-Gerd Sonnenschein told news agency Bloomberg that investors have grown impatient waiting for a recovery. "They will want to pull money out of Europe and come back when they finally see a real, fundamental improvement," he said.
A number of leading stocks lost ground. Index heavyweight, international building materials group,
, tumbled 1.31 per cent to close at €16.22 after investors sold just over 900,000 of its shares in Dublin.
Bank of Ireland slid 1.07 per cent to 27.7 cent on a turnover of 31.7 million shares. Dragon Oil shed 1.3 per cent to end the day at €6.81. Meanwhile, its potential takeover target, Petroceltic, plummeted 3.3 per cent to close at €2.659.
Miners made good gains on the back of better-than-expected Chinese export data.
rose 62.5p to 1388p, Randgold Resources lifted 184p or 4.4 per cent to 4381p and
climbed 125p to 3090p.
The biggest gain in the FTSE 250 Index came from Synergy Health after the firm agreed a takeover offer worth £1.2 billion from US-based rival Steris. Shares in Synergy were 31 per cent higher, a rise of 440p to 1840p.
Apple chip designer Arm Holdings was down 2 per cent or 20.5p to 822p after big losses for the tech-laden Nasdaq index on Wall Street on Friday.
Supermarket giant Tesco was back under pressure with a decline of nearly 3 per cent or 4.6p to 180.6p. It came as brokers at Cantor Fitzgerald highlighted the potential disruption to Christmas trading caused by the inquiry into the grocer's profits over-statement.
Meanwhile, shares in chocolate maker Thorntons were at a 12-month low after it said sales through commercial channels fell 12.8 per cent to £20.8 million in the 14 weeks to October 4th. The company's shares slid 4 per cent to 95p.
climbed 3.1 per cent to €23.68 as
raised its rating on the Finnish tyre maker to “strong buy” from a buy.
Luxottica tumbled 9.2 per cent to €37.29 after the manufacturer of glasses lost its second chief executive officer in little more than a month. Another heavy faller was STMicroelectronics, which slipped 5.37 per cent to €5.29 in Milan after rating downgrades from both Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan in the wake of a revenue warning from US tech firm Microchip.
Vienna Airport jumped 18 percent to €72.89 after the group said Australia's IFM Investors plans to buy a stake of up to 29.9 per cent.
Shares in Pershing Square, a fund run by US activist investor Bill Ackman, sank 12 per cent on their debut today on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange. The shares were initially priced at $25, giving the fund a market capitalisation of $6.2 billion, and closed their first session at $22.
Newly-merged auto manufacturer Fiat Chrysler gained 1.22 per cent to €7.025 in Milan while the stock was making its debut in New York.
Fiat Chrysler stock had a more mixed reception across the pond. It opened at $9 before falling to $8.91. By midday local time, however, it had recovered to $8.99.
Among the most active stocks on the NYSE in early trade were Bank of America, up 0.24 per cent to $16.52, and Petrobras, up 8.13 per cent to $16.89.
On the Nasdaq, GT Advanced Tech, down 29.0 per cent to $0.58 and Apple, up 0.7 per cent to $101.41, were amongst the most actively traded. – Additional reporting Bloomberg / Reuters