Slow day in Europe sees major indices edge downwards

The Iseq fell by over 1 per cent as the summer’s biggest earnings week ended

It was a quiet day both in Dublin and across Europe as we came to the end of the summer's busiest earnings week. Despite thin volumes across the board the Iseq ended down by 1.12 per cent while Europe's Stoxx 600 index closed down by 1.15 per cent.

In the UK it was similar with the FTSE also closing down by 1 per cent. Meanwhile in New York, US indices took a hit from Amazon’s 77 per cent profit drop. The other major tech stocks also took a hit.


The parent company of Aer Lingus, International Consolidated Airlines Group, dropped by 0.6 per cent after the company reported that Profits at Ireland's former flag carrier grew 40 per cent to almost €60 million in the first six months of the year.

Closing out a week of bank earnings, Bank of Ireland reported that impaired loans fell by €800 million to €5.4 billion over the course of the past six months as the economy improves and the bank continues to restructure troubled loans. As a result, the stock edged up marginally. The bank also set aside some €70 million for a likely return to shareholder dividend payments next year.


Ireland's biggest company CRH was the biggest loser on the Iseq, edging down by 2.4 per cent on the day. While there was no specific stock news, some traders suggested that currency fluctuations may have caused the movement.

Again, despite the insignificant volumes, Ryanair, Kerry Group, Green Reit and all edged down by between1.68 per cent and 0.61 per cent.

Hibernia Reit meanwhile, hit the top of the Iseq 20, up by 1.56 per cent at €1.435.


Britain's major share index posted its first weekly loss since June on Friday after a late-session slump in tobacco stocks, falls among banking stocks and a disappointing update from telecoms firm BT.

The FTSE 100 ended the session over 1 per cent lower, in line with a broader decline in the European market.

Shares in British American Tobacco sank as much as 13.7 per cent, though recovered to end 6.8 per cent lower, after the US Food and Drug Administration said it aimed to cut nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels.

Shares in BAT's peer Imperial Brands also dropped nearly 4 per cent, its worst day since November 2016.

Elsewhere results were in focus, with telecoms operator BT down 1.8 per cent after its first quarter profit was dented by settlements for an Italian accounting scandal, with government regulation also a concern for investors.


The main European indices all edged downwards on Friday on a day of very light volume. The main Stoxx 600 index closed lower by 1.15 per cent.

Bayer shares fell more than 4 per cent and were down 0.69 per cent by market close, underperforming the STOXX Europe 600 Health Care index, which was also being dragged down by a slump in AstraZeneca following a drug study setback.

Shares in the world's leading maker of opthalmic lenses were down 4.12 per cent at, making France-based Essilor one of the biggest fallers in the STOXX 600 index. Shares in Luxottica were down 3.43 per cent.

New York

US stock indexes opened lower on Friday as Amazon's profit miss spooked investors and dragged down shares of other technology companies.

Amazon’s shares were down after it reported a 77 per cent drop in profit as its rapid and costly expansion into new shopping categories and countries showed no sign of slowing.

The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. The consumer discretionary index, of which Amazon is a component, was the worst performer among the 11 major S&P sectors.

Facebook, Google parent Alphabet and Netflix, part of the high-flying "FANG" stocks, were also lower.

Starbucks and Mattel both fell after their quarterly reports.

Exxon was down after the world's largest publicly traded oil producer's quarterly profit missed estimates.

-(Additional reporting: Reuters)

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business