Shares in Norwegian Air drop almost 15% after earnings slump
Elsewhere, it was a flat day on the markets, with the Iseq Index finishing up 0.1%
The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.4 per cent, slightly ahead of euro zone stocks and blue-chips
Norwegian Air Shuttle, a budget carrier trying to grab a larger slice of transatlantic flights, reported a slump in earnings on Thursday and said the outlook for both growth and costs was worse than previously expected.
Shares in Europe’s third-largest budget airline behind Ryanair and EasyJet dropped almost 15 per cent to their lowest since October 2014, taking this year’s losses to 34 per cent.
The Government’s summer economic statement on Wednesday had little or no effect on company shares yesterday, as a flat day saw the Iseq Index finish up 0.1 per cent.
Paddy Power Betfair finished the day down 0.2 per cent, but had been off by more than 4 per cent during the day. The shares also traded in high volumes.
“That’s added to a sequence of consecutive meaningful losses for the shares over the past few weeks,” said an analyst with Davy. “It has lost a considerable amount over that period.”
In real estate, Green Reit, Hibernia Reit and Ires Reit were all down marginally.
Elsewhere, Ryanair and Smurfit Kappa were down marginally, as both companies underperformed in their respective peer groups. CRH closed flat having been up more than 1 per cent during the day.
Retailer Burberry, which hosted its annual general meeting on Thursday, closed up 2.4 per cent.
The FTSE 100 edged into the red, dragged down by a jump in sterling and a drop in AstraZeneca shares following rumours of its chief executive’s departure.
London’s blue chip index ended the day nearly flat, down 3.49 points at 7,413.44. AstraZeneca shares weighed on the FTSE 100, falling 179p to 5,013p. AstraZeneca said it did not comment on market rumour or speculation.
The index was also knocked by a stronger pound, which rose 0.2 per cent versus the US dollar to 1.291, and 0.5 per cent against the euro to 1.134, after Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Ian McCafferty signalled he would continue to push for an interest rate hike.
David Madden, a market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “Mr McCafferty has a track record of being a hawk . . . The UK central bank appears to be divided over its monetary policy, and while there is division the pound will remain volatile.”
European shares inched higher, with investors less keen to chase the previous session’s strong rally that came on the back of the relatively dovish tone struck by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen overnight.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.4 per cent, slightly ahead of euro zone stocks and blue-chips, with rate-sensitive real estate stocks, which were top gainers on Wednesday, tracking more modest gains.
Shares in French industrial group Alstom, in which the French state has a 20 per cent stake, rose 2.9 per cent after it reported sales improved from a year ago, and maintained financial targets.
Umicore jumped 4 per cent higher after a top-ranked analyst at ABN Amro added the Belgian chemicals group to their ‘conviction list’, citing capacity increases in the company’s battery business, as growth prospects for the electric car industry improve.
Souring sentiment somewhat, shares in Mercedes maker Daimler fell 1.5 per cent to the bottom of the DAX after a report accusing the carmaker of selling cars with excess emissions.
Upbeat data lifted the dollar and sent world shares to a fourth all-time high in less than a month on Thursday, a day after Ms Yellen signalled that a rise in interest rates would be less aggressive than had been expected.
The US economy is healthy enough for the Fed to raise rates and begin winding down its massive bond portfolio, though low inflation may leave the central bank with less leeway, Ms Yellen told a House committee on Wednesday.
Sentiment was boosted after China reported upbeat data on exports and imports for June, the latest sign that global trade is finding some traction again.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18.24 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 21,550.38. The S&P 500 gained 2.82 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 2,446.07 and the Nasdaq Composite added 2.29 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 6,263.46.