Shares at lowest level in four months as Brexit fears deepen
Unease about looming referendum on EU membership continues to dominate markets
The BMW i8 Futurism Edition: the company’s shares fell 1.9 per cent. Photograph: Joerg Koch/Getty Images
European stocks slid to their lowest in almost four months as investor anxiety that the UK will leave the European Union deepened.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.8 per cent to 326.8 at the close of trading. Shares on Friday slumped the most since the nadir of the February sell-off as risky assets were shunned before a slew of monetary-policy and political events.
The equity gauge has traded in a range of less than 25 points since March, struggling to hold on to gains after surging 16 per cent from its February low to an April 20th high.
Permanent TSB fell 6.6 per cent to €2.04 as financials bore the brunt of the current market unease over Brexit. The fact that the bank is disproportionately exposed to the banking levy is also said to be weighing on investor sentiment.
Bank of Ireland was also down nearly 5 per cent at €0.23.
Construction firm CRH was also weaker, down 2.5 per cent at €25.45 following the release of a Euro report late on Friday which predicted a slowdown in the UK, again linked to Brexit.
Ryanair was also down 2.2 per cent to €13.13 in line with other European rivals. Smurfit Kappa was down a similar margin albeit on light volumes.
Hostelworld was under pressure again, falling 1 per cent to €3.03. The company has shed significant value in recent weeks after reporting weaker-than-expected demand on foot of the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks.
In stocks, London-listed G4S dropped by as much as 8 per cent amid revelations the Florida nightclub shooter worked for the security firm. Omar Mateen who gunned down 50 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, had been employed by the business since 2007. Shares in G4S were down 9.4p to 178p.
Charles Church-owner Persimmon was down 37p to 1939p after it defended its executive pay plan that could see its senior managers share a £600 million bonus pot. The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 Index were Fresnillo, Royal Bank of Scotland, Inmarsat, and Rangold Resources.
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Carmakers were among the biggest decliners. BMW fell 1.9 per cent after its sales chief told Automobilwoche newspaper the US market “will stagnate at best” in 2016.
Technip and Amec Foster Wheeler led energy companies lower as Bank of America said there is still no reason to turn positive on oil-service providers. Siemens lost 1.8 per cent after chief executive Joe Kaeser said his company is not bidding for robot-maker Kuka .
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The Dow Jones was up 0.11 per cent, at 17,885.54. The S&P 500 was down 0.53 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 2,095.54. The Nasdaq Composite was down 10.22 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 4,884.33.
Shares of gun makers Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger rose about 9 per cent. Facebook was down 1.4 per cent at $114.99.
– Additional reporting Reuters/Bloomberg