Volatile trading session sees European stocks finish day lower

In Dublin the Iseq closes down more than 1 per cent as Ryanair falls 2.6 per cent

 Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange: the dollar index fell for a fourth day on the latest batch of soft US data, which dampened expectations for US interest rate hikes this year. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange: the dollar index fell for a fourth day on the latest batch of soft US data, which dampened expectations for US interest rate hikes this year. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

 

Another volatile trading session saw European stocks end the day lower, although the London market rallied and made gains of more than 1 per cent.

Fluctuations in the European benchmark index Stoxx 600 mirrored movements in the price in oil, with the gauge climbing as much as 1.1 per cent and dropped 1.5 per cent.

The European Commission trimmed its 2016 growth forecast for the euro zone and warned that the slowdown in emerging countries was posing a major threat to recovery.

European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi said weak global inflation would not stop it introducing stimulus measures if they were needed.

DUBLIN

The Iseq closed down more than 1 per cent, as Ryanair sank 2.6 per cent to €13.70.The airline reported a 25 per cent year-on-year increase in passengers for the month of January, but the stock slumped in the first half of the session as oil prices rose.

Paddy Power Betfair fell for the second consecutive day, declining 4.5 per cent to €130.85.

Drinks group C&C declined almost 1 per cent to €3.47, while other fallers included food group Kerry, which fell 1.1 per cent to €74.69, and insulation-maker Kingspan, which ended 1.4 per cent lower at €22.35.

Index heavyweight CRH nudged up 0.3 per cent to €23.13, but the cement-maker’s rise was not enough to cancel out other falls.

LONDON

The FTSE 100 outperformed other major European indices, making gains of 1.1 per cent as other markets finished in the red. The index of blue-chip shares rallied, rebounding from the previous session’s falls, after a drop in the dollar boosted commodity prices and gave a lift to mining and oil shares. The London market snapped a three-day losing streak that had seen the index shed 4 per cent. The rally came as expectations for an interest rate increase from the US Federal Reserve evaporated. Royal Dutch Shell added the most points to the index, climbing 6.1 per cent after it reported results in line with predictions.

Among mining stocks, BHP Billiton, Antofagasta, Glencore and Rio Tinto all rose 10-16 per cent. Anglo American surged over 19.9 per cent, its biggest daily gain since November 2008.

The top faller was AstraZeneca, which dropped 6.1 per cent after it warned that revenue and earnings would fall this year due to the arrival of cheap generic rivals to its cholesterol fighter Crestor.

EUROPE

Losses in Credit Suisse and Daimler dragged European stocks lower, even as commodity producers rallied the most since 2011. After a day of jumps and slumps, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed down 0.2 per cent, dropping for a fourth straight session.

Germany’s DAX was down 0.5 per cent, while the Cac 40 in France was up by 0.5 per cent.

Credit Suisse slumped to its lowest price since 1992 after posting its biggest quarterly loss in seven years. German vehicle maker Daimler fell 3.2 per cent after saying growth will slow down. That contrasted with energy and commodity producers, which remained up all day. Norway’s Statoil surged 9.1 per cent after deepening investment cuts to maintain dividends.

US

A jump in materials shares helped US stocks eke out a second straight day of gains on Thursday, though disappointing forecasts from retailers and anxiety ahead of today’s jobs report limited the advance.

The S&P 500 materials index rose 2.8 per cent, leading the day’s gains, as declines in the dollar lifted copper and other metals prices. The dollar index fell for a fourth day on the latest batch of soft US data, which dampened expectations for US interest rate hikes this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 79.92 points, or 0.49 per cent, to end at 16,416.58.

– (Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters)