Shares down as traders get the jitters from weak US data

Markets report: Stocks gained ground after reports the ECB is leaning towards a stimulus package that includes a rate cut

European shares retreated from one-month highs on Tuesday as weak US factory data added to worries about global growth, while uncertainty over Britain's chaotic exit from the European Union knocked the FTSE 100 lower.


The Iseq slipped about three-quarters of one per cent on Brexit worries.

The index's best performer, by far, was hotel group Dalata, which finished the session up 8.8 per cent to €4.70. It reported stellar financial results in Dublin and beat analysts' expectations.

Packaging giant Smurfit Kappa was down more than 2.1 per cent to €27.12 on a negative read-through from a conference call held by its industry peer, DS Smith, which noted weakness in several markets.


Exploration group Providence Resources fell by 9.7 per cent to about 6 cents per share, as the group continued to test shareholders' patience with delays on the receipt of finance that had been promised by a Chinese investor.

Ryanair rose 1.6 per cent to €9.08 as passenger numbers grew 8 per cent in August. Airlines are occasionally sensitive to oil prices, as it is eventually reflected in the cost of their biggest overhead - fuel. Crudes prices fell on Tuesday.


Mid-cap stocks, traditionally harder hit by Brexit concerns, bounced off early lows to close down 0.1 per cent while the blue-chip index fell 0.2 per cent as sterling rebounded.

Stocks considered most exposed to any hit to Britain's wealth resulting from Brexit were the biggest fallers with Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland dropped more than 1 per cent each. RBS and utilities also face the threat of nationalisation if a Labour government was to take charge.

Losses in homebuilders, which are vulnerable to a crash in house prices from an economic shock, were led by a 1.6 per cent drop in the sector's biggest player Barratt. Retailers Morrison and Marks & Spencer were also down roughly 1.5 per cent. M&S also faces relegation from the FTSE 100.


The pan-European STOXX 600 index dropped 0.2 per cent at the close after falling as much as 0.7 per cent following the release of data showing US manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years in August.

European stocks gained some ground after Reuters reported that European Central Bank policymakers are leaning towards a stimulus package that includes a rate cut.

Trade-sensitive shares of Germany and France were down about 0.4 per cent each, while Milan-listed shares closed down 0.3 per cent.

Shares of Dutch-listed Takeaway. com dropped 5.9 per cent after a top shareholder in Just Eat said it would vote against the British food delivery company's proposed £9 billion (€9.9 billion) merger with Shares of Just Eat slid 2.8 per cent, dragging the retail index down 0.4 per cent.

France's second largest telecoms operator Iliad fell 6.3 per cent, the biggest decliner on the STOXX 600, after it reported a loss of 127,000 mobile subscribers to competitors in the first half of the year.

New York

The energy sector tumbled 1.7 per cent, as rising OPEC and Russian crude output also drove a slump in oil prices.

Trade-sensitive industrials slipped 1.7 per cent, while technology stocks fell 1.2 per cent. Chipmakers, which draw a large portion of their revenue from China, also fell, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index down 1.9 per cent.

Weighing the most on the Dow were shares of Boeing, which tumbled 3.4 per cent after the Federal Aviation Administration said on Friday a global panel of experts will need a few more weeks to finish its review into the company's 737 MAX certification.

US casino operators felt the brunt of slowing economic growth in China as gambling hub Macau posted weak August casino revenue. Shares of Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts International fell between 2.4 per cent and 4.5 per cent.

(Additional reporting: Reuters)

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times