Volatile European markets following strong US inflation data

Ryanair climbs 1.83% to €16.16 on what traders said was good day for the sector

European markets see-sawed following stronger-than-expected inflation data from the US, which first sent shares plunging in early afternoon before rallying in later trade.


Dealers said trade on the Irish market reflected the pattern in Europe. Farming services group Origin Enterprises fell 4.68 per cent to €5.50. The feed and fertiliser supplier announced that chief financial officer Imelda Hurley was leaving. Group finance director Peter Dunne will replace her.

Traders said that there was decent activity in ingredients and convenience foods group Kerry at close to the €85 mark. More than 500,000 of its shares changed hands, and the stock closed 0.3 per cent up at €84.80.

Index heavyweight, building materials group CRH dipped 0.8 per cent to €27.43 despite European peers such as Heidelberg Cement and Buzzi gaining ground on Wednesday.


Airline Ryanair climbed 1.83 per cent to €16.16 on what traders said was a good day for the sector. The low-cost carrier's gains pushed comfortably past the €16 mark that it struggled to reach during a volatile period late last year. The company published figures showing that 87 per cent of flights were on time last month, compared to 86 per cent in January 2017.


Sky and BT had contrasting fortunes on the top tier after the two media giants stumped up £4.5 billion to claim broadcasting rights to dozens of Premier League football matches.

Sky was up nearly 2 per cent or 21p to 1,082 pence sterling as it won the race to become the main broadcaster of live Premier League football by seizing four of the seven TV rights packages for 2019-22. However, BT closed down 0.3p to 225.6p after securing a smaller bundle of games.

The fallout from Carillion's collapse sent Galliford Try careering into the red as it moved to strengthen its balance sheet. The builder was amongst the biggest fallers on the FTSE 250 Index after booking a £25 million exceptional charge and announcing plans to raise £150 million in new equity capital.

The company had been part of a joint venture with both Balfour Beatty and Carillion to construct the Aberdeen western peripheral route in Scotland, but its partner's liquidation means its is likely to have to contribute an extra £30 million to £40 million to the project. Shares were down more than 18 per cent or 187.5p, to 800p.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 index were Randgold Resources up 296p to 6,386p, Coca-Cola HBC up 108p to 2,344p, Fresnillo up 58.5p to 1,329.5p, Evraz up 14.7p to 375.3p.

The biggest fallers were TUI down 74p to 1,540p, Standard Life Aberdeen down 9.5p to 389.3p and Shire down 45.5p to 3,135.5p.


Solid company and economic updates maintained investor confidence and helped shares shrug off the initial negative reaction to US inflation data.

Top gainer on the STOXX 600 index was silicon wafer group Siltronic, up 7.9 per cent at €116.70 after a positive note from Credit Suisse.

Second was French electrical parts distributor Rexel, which rose 6.22 per cent to €14.44 after a trading update.

Food packaging group Huhtamaki rose 3.5 per cent after it released fourth-quarter results, and Dutch food supplement maker DSM jumped 2.9 per cent after giving an upbeat outlook for 2018.

In the banking sector, Credit Suisse was a clear leader, up 3.7 per cent after posting a third straight annual loss which was smaller than expected. French lender Credit Agricole fell 2.8 per cent after results.


US stocks rose as investors digested a stronger-than-expected inflation data and a surprise drop in January retail sales, which shifted the focus from rising inflation to the prospect of stagflation.

Fossil surged more than 60 per cent after the watchmaker's strong holiday-quarter sales and a rush among short-sellers to cover their positions.

Chipotle jumped about 14 per cent after it hired Brian Niccol from Taco Bell as its next chief executive, which analysts said sparked hopes of a quicker turnaround. – Additional reporting Reuters

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas