Volatility in financial markets hits two-month low
Aryzta puts some of last week’s troubles behind it, rising 5 per cent to €35.50
Glanbia lost 1.2 per cent at €18 in line with several industry rivals as major London food conference got under way.
Volatility across global financial markets is at a two-month low as signs that central banks will keep borrowing costs lower for longer settled investor nerves that frayed at the start of the year.
European shares fell marginally from near a six- week high, while US stocks were little changed after last week erasing losses for the year. Markets have calmed after a volatile first six weeks of 2016, which saw US equities post the worst opening period on record.
Swiss-Irish food group Aryzta put some of last week’s troubles behind it, rising 5 per cent to €35.50. After a positive week last week, building materials giant CRH traded down 1.65 per cent, at €24.67, after the release of weaker-than-expected US data on existing home sales.
Glanbia lost 1.2 per cent at €18 in line with several industry rivals as major London food conference got under way. Drinks group C&C was 2 per cent lower again at 2.1 per cent on the back of profit-taking.
The FTSE 100 Index was down 5.06 points at 6184.58, following a choppy day for the price of Brent crude, which fell by 50 US cents in early trading before returning to growth by the end of the session, edging up 13 cents to $41.3 a barrel.
However, the shifting oil price took its toll on mining stocks, with Antofagasta topping the biggest fallers, slumping 18.8p to 495.7p. Anglo American was also down 5.9p to 549.5p, while Fresnillo fell 7.5p to 980.5p.
In stocks, supermarket giant Sainsbury’s saw its share price climb 3.3p to 276.5p, as the market reacted to its £1.4 billion offer for Argos-owner Home Retail Group on Friday.
The bid came less than an hour after South African rival Steinhoff abandoned its £1.4 billion pursuit of general goods retailer Argos.
Shares in Pets at Home edged down 5p to 280p after it announced its chief executive Nick Wood had resigned.
EUROPE European shares closed lower
, with weaker commodity stocks more than offsetting gains in Bayer and Telecom Italia. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.25 per cent, while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro Stoxx 50 index was down by 0.36 per cent.
Telecom Italia rose 3.1 per cent, among the top gainers on the FTSEurofirst, after the company confirmed its chief executive was stepping down in a move seen as a sign of the growing influence of top shareholder Vivendi. Italian broker ICBPI said the resignation could fuel speculation about new cost-cutting at the Italian phone group.
Bayer shares rose 3.3 per cent after reports that Monsanto, the world’s largest seed producer, had approached Bayer to express interest in its crop science unit, including a potential acquisition worth more than $30 billion.
Mining and steel stocks such as ArcelorMittal and Glencore fell as metals prices steadied after reaching a four-month high in the previous session.
Chevron lost 1.6 per cent, at $96.12. Crude prices edged up despite uncertainty about a plan to freeze production and signs of US producers increasing drilling activity. Sherwin- Williams fell 3.9 per cent, to $277.45, after it agreed to buy rival Valspar. Valspar shares rose 24.4 per cent, at $104.29.
IHS was up 7.1 per cent, at $118.57, after the US business research provider said it would buy London-based Markit in an all-stock deal valued at about $5.9 billion. – (Reuters)