Security fears push markets towards safer assets

Applegreen and Aryzta best performers in Dublin as Kingspan comes under pressure

European investors edged back into safer assets

yesterday as a shootout between French police and militants suspected of involvement in the Paris attacks kept the market focused on security issues.

US stocks rose and the dollar slipped from a seven-month high versus the euro amid speculation Federal Reserve meeting minutes would reinforce that interest rate increases will be gradual as the economy improves.

When they were released the minutes pointed to a December rate rise. DUBLIN It was not a particularly busy day on the Dublin market, with the Iseq closing down 0.35 per cent to finish at 6,554.


CRH was a little quiet ahead of its interim management statement, which is due out on today. Just 600,000 shares were traded in the buildings material giant, and the stock fell 0.74 per cent to €25.48.

Volumes were also slightly lower in Smurfit Kappa, with 600,000 shares traded. The stock rose 0.35 per cent to €25.69.

Kingspan came under some pressure, falling 2 per cent to €23.73.

Applegreen and Aryzta were among the best performing shares, rising 3.9 per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively. LONDON Tourism-related stocks came under pressure in London again yesterday on concerns about international security after last week's attacks in Paris, though Britain's top share index got support from gains in commodity shares.

Budget carrier Easyjet and British Airways owner IAG fell by 1.5 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively.

Shares of security-related companies have risen since the attacks but Rolls Royce, a leading global provider of defence aero engines and services, fell 2.2 per cent yesterday.

Miner Antofagasta rose 5.8 per cent despite copper prices remaining weak after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to "neutral" from "sell".

The blue chip FTSE 100 index was up 10.21 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 6,278.97 points by the close, buoyed in late trade by a rise on Wall Street. EUROPE European shares fell, retreating from solid gains in the previous session, with French industrial gas company Air Liquide slipping after announcing an expensive-looking acquisition.

Air Liquide dropped 7.4 per cent after the company announced a $13.4 billion deal to buy US peer Airgas.

L'Oreal slid 1.7 per cent and LVMH lost 1.1 per cent, while Air France KLM was down 0.5 per cent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which rose 2.6 per cent in the previous session, was down 0.2 per cent at the close, while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index closed down 0.6 per cent.

France's CAC 40 Index retreated 0.7 per cent at the close of trading, while Germany's Dax was flat. US US stocks gained steam and the dollar touched a fresh seven-month high yesterday after minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve policy meeting showed a core of officials backed a possible interest rate hike in December.

Longer-dated US treasuries fared better than shorter-dated issues after the minutes of the Fed’s October 27th-28th meeting showed “most” participants felt conditions for a rate hike “could well be met by the time of the next meeting.”

Earlier, two Fed officials expressed confidence that they will be able to pull off a relatively smooth increase when the time comes.

“The greatest Christmas gift the Fed could give the market is certainty,” said Steve Chiavarone, assistant portfolio manager at Federated Investors in New York.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 247.66 points, or 1.42 per cent, to 17,737.16, the S&P 500 gained 33.14 points, or 1.62 per cent, to 2,083.58 and the Nasdaq Composite added 89.19 points, or 1.79 per cent, to 5,075.20. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters