Stocks decline over trade and growth concerns

In Dublin, the Iseq index closed down 0.3 per cent, with financial stocks declining again

European shares fell on Monday, with banks leading the decline, as worries that the protracted US-China trade war could push the global economy into recession sent investors scurrying to safer assets.

Worsening protests in Hong Kong and a collapse in the Argentine peso added to the downbeat mood around the globe.


The Iseq closed down 0.3 per cent in line with the moribund Monday on European markets. There were modest gains for some of its biggest stocks, with building materials group CRH advancing 0.6 per cent to €28.55 and Ryanair finishing up almost 0.8 per cent at €9.12. Paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa also climbed, adding 0.3 per cent to €26.52, while property investment trust Green Reit, which is nearing a takeover by Henderson Park, rose 0.4 per cent to almost €1.83.


But troubled Providence Resources plunged 14 per cent, closing below the 8 cent mark. Cairn Homes lost 4 per cent to €1.00, while Glanbia was also a faller, softening 3 per cent to €11.37.

It was another day of decline for financial stocks, with Bank of Ireland tumbling 4.4 per cent to €3.18 and AIB down 3.4 per cent at just below €2.61.


The FTSE 100 surrendered early gains on Monday, with Asia-focused shares such as HSBC particularly badly hit by worries over protests in Hong Kong, while tour company Thomas Cook plunged after updating on its recapitalisation plans.

The blue-chip index ended 0.4 per cent lower, while the mid-cap index dropped 0.9 per cent.

Rolls-Royce, which supplies engines to aircraft manufacturer Boeing, also weighed with a 3.6 per cent fall after media reports that fragments of an engine fell from a Norwegian Boeing 787 Dreamliner near Rome, Italy.

Thomas Cook, the world's oldest travel company, tanked nearly 18.3 per cent after saying its existing shareholders were expected to be "significantly diluted" as part of its rescue plan.

Irish company Tullow Oil, which has its main listing in London, was among a handful of gainers on the FTSE 250 with a 20 per cent jump after saying it had made a major oil discovery in Guyana, which raised expectations that it would move to develop a field in the oil-rich South American country.


The Stoxx 600 index pared early gains to close 0.3 per cent lower, extending last week’s 1.7 per cent loss when worries over an escalation in trade tensions and Italy’s political turmoil had weighed on sentiment.

Germany’s Ifo survey echoed the growth concerns with its measures for current conditions and economic expectations both having worsened in the third quarter. In Germany, the Dax closed down 0.1 per cent, while France’s Cac 40 index finished 0.3 per cent lower.

On the corporate front, the bidding war for Osram ramped up after Swiss-listed sensor specialist AMS said it was ready to pay 10 per cent more than Bain Capital and Carlyle.

Osram, which is grappling with weakness in the automotive industry and a broader economic slowdown, is seen as a potential supplier for connected and autonomous cars. Osram shares were up 10.4 per cent while AMS's 11.8 per cent decline was the biggest on Stoxx 600.


Wall Street stocks slipped on Monday as political tensions sapped risk appetite.

Microsoft and Amazon. com fell about 0.6 per cent each in early trading, weighing heavily on the S&P 500. Amgen rose 4.6 per cent as a US judge upheld two patents relating to blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel, denying a challenge by Novartis, which is seeking to launch a copycat version.

Media companies CBS and Viacom are in the final stages of negotiating an all-stock merger that values Viacom at a discount to its closing price on Friday, two sources told Reuters. Viacom shares fell 3.6 per cent.

– Additional reporting: Reuters