Wall Street slips as US economic growth misses forecasts

Top Irish stocks diverge, with CRH down 1% and Ryanair up 1.1%, while Glanbia rises 0.7%

Food group Glanbia closed up 0.7 per cent at €15.64, following an announcement that it is in advanced discussions to invest in a greenfield cheese facility in Michigan in the US.

Food group Glanbia closed up 0.7 per cent at €15.64, following an announcement that it is in advanced discussions to invest in a greenfield cheese facility in Michigan in the US.

 

European equities pulled back on Friday, trimming their fourth weekly gain in five weeks, as lenders and carmakers declined.

A fall for Swiss bank UBS dragged bank stocks lower after it posted a drop in full-year profit, but the London market outperformed after Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket, saw its share price surge after a £3.7 billion takeover of a supplier.

Wall Street slipped in early trading as figures showed that US economic growth missed forecasts in the fourth quarter of 2016, growing at an annual pace of 1.9 per cent rather than the anticipated 2.2 per cent rate.

The world’s largest economy grew by 1.6 per cent over 2016 as a whole, the slowest expansion since 2011.

Dublin

CRHRyanair

Food group Glanbia closed up 0.7 per cent at €15.64, following an announcement that it is in advanced discussions to invest in a greenfield cheese facility in Michigan in the US.

Swiss-Irish food company Aryzta fell 2.2 per cent to €26.70, with the stock giving up its Thursday gains. The group’s share price slumped 32 per cent in Dublin on Tuesday after it issued a profit warning.

Paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa rose 2 per cent to €24.70.

London

TescoBooker

Booker shares hit a record high and were the top Stoxx gainer, up 16 per cent in the session. Analysts said the merger made good sense, but might cause concern as it would give Tesco more pricing power.

Investors also welcomed news that the supermarket expects to start paying dividends again, while the deal helped retailers rise the most among Stoxx 600 industry groups.

Educational publisher Pearson was among the biggest fallers on the FTSE 100, while Ryanair competitor easyJet and mining company Antofagasta also lost ground.

Europe

UBS fell 4.5 per cent. The world’s biggest wealth manager posted a 47 per cent fall in 2016 net profit but struck a more optimistic tone for 2017 as its fourth-quarter net profit came in well ahead of market expectations.

Losses in UBS helped drag Europe’s bank index down 0.8 per cent, to be among the weakest sectors. UniCredit fell 5.2 per cent after a report said the Italian lender may start its multi-billion-euro capital hike on February 6th.

Finnish ship engine and power plant maker Wartsila climbed 7.2 per cent, buoyed by stronger-than-expected results.

Among the biggest losers of the day was Frankfurt-listed online lottery firm Zeal Network. Its shares tumbled more than 24 per cent, with traders citing disappointment over its dividend plans and disappointing outlook.

US

Chevron fell as much as 3.2 per cent, slumping the most in five months, after the oil giant posted its first annual loss since at least 1980.

The Sa&P 500 Index swung between gains and losses. Microsoft and Intel advanced, while Starbucks slumped after reporting results.

– (Additional reporting: Bloomberg / Reuters)