Market update: Iseq falls as Hurricane Ophelia frets investors

AIB, PTSB and FBD among losers on Ireland’s benchmark index

People watch waves splash over a wall on the Coast Road, Clontarf, ahead of Hurricane Ophelia hitting Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

People watch waves splash over a wall on the Coast Road, Clontarf, ahead of Hurricane Ophelia hitting Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Ireland’s benchmark Iseq overall index had fallen by over 3 per cent by mid-day on Monday with insurer FBD amongst the lunchtime losers.

Share in FBD Holdings fell by 1.38 per cent as investors fretted about the cost of Hurricane Ophelia on insurers.

European peer Allianz was, however trading up, while Aviva and RSA - which would both have exposure in Ireland - were down by 0.76 and 0.24 per cent respectively.

Despite very low volume by mid-day, Smurfit Kappa and Cairn Homes were also laggards on the benchmark index while leaders included Independent News and Media, up by 1.94 per cent, Glanbia and Irish Continental Group which both edged up by 0.88 per cent.

In other sector specific news, all Irish banks confirmed branch closures on Monday. Permanent TSB was down by 1.1 per cent and AIB down by 0.61 per cent while Bank of Ireland was trading in the green - up by 0.49 per cent.

Ireland’s market woes come against a backdrop of increasing European political uncertainty which today failed to dent European stocks.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index added 0.2 per cent, while Spain’s Ibex fell 0.7 per cent as Catalonian uncertainty persisted.

Catalonia worries also pushed up the yield on Spain’s 10-year government bond. The gap between Spanish and German 10-year borrowing costs widened 2.5 basis points . Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont failed on Monday to clarify whether he had declared independence from Spain last week, paving the way for the central government to take control of the wealthy region.

In Austria, conservative Sebastian Kurz is on track to become the next leader after Sunday’s election. He is seen as likely to seek a coalition with the resurgent far right because his party is far short of a majority. The developments threaten to disrupt a move by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to draw up a roadmap to deeper European Union integration. The euro took a knock for the third straight day on the uncertainty, falling 0.2 per cent to $1.1801.

-(Additional reporting: Reuters)