Markets fall as investors await outcome of US midterm elections
Iseq closes down 0.9%, with CRH, Green Reit and Ryanair among those to lose ground
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters
Markets dipped on Tuesday as investors awaited the outcome of the US mid-term elections. In Ireland, the Iseq Overall Index closed down 0.9 per cent at 6,136.33.
Building materials giant and Iseq index heavyweight CRH fell 3.28 per cent to €25.67. Traders said caution about developments in the US, the group’s biggest market, may have put investors off the stock. However, US rivals such as Martin Marietta rose on the back of good results.
Insulation specialist Kingspan climbed 2.19 per cent to €40.20. Traders indicated that the company was due to be included in a number of key international indices shortly.
Packaging maker Smurfit Kappa gained almost 1 per cent to €28.78 as UK rival DS Smith told investors that it expected good first-half results. Smurfit closed at €28.78.
Among Irish-focused stocks, house builder Cairn Homes rose 1.5 per cent to €1.464. Hibernia Reit, due to publish interim results next week, inched up 0.3 per cent to €1.354. In the same business, Green Reit tumbled 1.25 per cent to €1.424.
Bookmaker William Hill plunged more than 6 per cent after warning that increased betting duty and regulatory costs would cut profits by £20 million sterling this year and £25 million next year.
The stock closed 6.04 per cent down at 200.7 pence sterling on the back of the news.
Morrisons ended near the bottom of the pile after seeing sales growth slow following the hot summer and World Cup. Group like-for-like sales excluding fuel were up 5.6 per cent in the 13 weeks to November 4th.
This was lower than the 6.3 per cent growth recorded in the previous quarter as the football and hot weather encouraged shoppers to stock up on food and drink. Shares closed down 10.05p or 4.1 per cent at 244.5p.
Penneys owner owner Associated British Foods (ABF) ended top of the index as investors looked past a 2.1 per cent decline in sales at the budget clothing chain.
In the UK, sales rose 1.2 per cent and the business, which trades as Primark in Britain, increased its share of the total clothing market significantly. Overall sales were 5.3 pre cent ahead of last year. ABF shares closed up 72p or 3.01 percent at 2,460p.
DS Smith, a rival of Irish-based multi-national cardboard box maker, gained 1.07 per cent to 385.1p after saying that it expected first-half profits to beat last year’s results.
Zalando shares tumbled 8.5 per cent after Europe’s biggest online-only fashion retailer reported its slowest rate of sales growth since it was launched a decade ago, and recorded a loss due in part to unseasonably warm weather.
Shares in Austrian engineering group Andritz fell 4.3 per cent after it missed third-quarter operating profit forecasts due to higher costs at its metals unit and lower earnings at its hydro operations.
Drug maker Morphosys shares jumped 8 per cent after it forecast revenues at the upper end of its guided range.
US stocks rose as strong earnings and easing of trade tensions lifted materials and industrial sectors but volumes were light as uncertainty about the midterm elections kept investors on the sidelines.
Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.34 per cent gain in the materials index. Shares of fertiliser company Mosaic Co rose 7.7 per cent and building materials producer Martin Marietta Materials gained 6.8 per cent after strong results.
Healthcare stocks got a boost from a 17.6 per cent jump in Mylan NV and 4.3 per cent rise in pharmacy chain CVS Health Corp after their results.
– Additional reporting: Reuters