Strong Ger­man growth boosts euro

AIB fin­ishes the day down 0.5% af­ter Cen­tral Bank ini­ti­ates tracker in­ves­ti­ga­tion Wall Street down as Gen­eral Elec­tric shares plunge for sec­ond straight day

The Irish Times - Business - - MARKETS - COLIN GLEE­SON

World stocks were down for the fourth day in a row yes­ter­day, but strong eco­nomic growth in Ger­many boosted the euro to an al­most three-week high.

DUBLIN

AIB fin­ished the day down 0.5 per cent af­ter it emerged the Cen­tral Bank is pre­par­ing to start an en­force­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion into it as part of an in­dus­try-wide ex­am­i­na­tion of over­charg­ing of tracker mort­gage bor­row­ers go­ing back al­most a decade.

Else­where, build­ing ma­te­ri­als group Kingspan re­cov­ered some­what, up 1 per cent af­ter what an an­a­lyst with Davy called a “pretty bad day” on Mon­day when its stock plunged more than 6 per cent fol­low­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of re­sults.

In prop­erty, there was a “mixed bag” with Green Reit up 1 per cent, while Hiber­nia

Reit and Ires Reit were down 0.5 per cent apiece. Cairn

Homes, mean­while, was down 1.8 per cent. “We did a lot of vol­ume in it, but it was ac­tu­ally weaker on the back of it,” said the an­a­lyst. Fu­els-to-tech con­glom­er­ate

DCC was up 0.8 per cent af­ter Donal Mur­phy, the new chief ex­ec­u­tive, said it was on course for a “record” year of spend on ac­qui­si­tions, as an­a­lysts pre­dict it could have a fur­ther £700 mil­lion to de­ploy over the next 18 months. Fer­ries op­er­a­tor Ir­ish Con­ti­nen­tal Group said con­sol­i­dated rev­enues rose by 3.1 per cent to €289.9mil­lion in the first ten months of the year with a weaker ster­ling fail­ing to cause any last­ing dam­age. Fol­low­ing the trad­ing up­date, it was down about 0.5 per cent.

Paddy Power was down 2 per cent on the day. “It seems to be stock spe­cific too be­cause the likes of Lad­brokes and Wil­liam Hill weren’t af­fected,” said the Davy an­a­lyst.

LONDON

Bri­tain’s top stock in­dex stead­ied yes­ter­day as Tesco ral­lied af­ter it won ap­proval for a takeover and Voda­fone re­ported strong re­sults, out­weigh­ing weak­ness among min­ing com­pa­nies. The FTSE 100 ended the ses­sion flat in per­cent­age terms fol­low­ing three straight days of de­clines. The mid-cap in­dex gained 0.3 per cent.

Tesco was the top riser, jump­ing 6.2 per cent af­ter the Bri­tish com­pe­ti­tion reg­u­la­tor gave pro­vi­sional ap­proval for its pro­posed £3.7 bil­lion takeover of whole­saler Booker, mov­ing the re­tailer closer to se­cur­ing a new av­enue of growth. Booker rose 6.8 per cent.

Voda­fone was an­other strong per­former, ral­ly­ing more than 5 per cent af­ter rais­ing its fore­cast for full-year earn­ings growth to around 10 per cent from 4 to 8 per cent, based on a strong first half.

Europe

Euro­pean shares re­mained stuck at seven-week lows as a fall among com­modi­ties-re­lated sec­tors and tele­coms firm Altice out­weighed a buoy­ant tech sec­tor.

The pan-Euro­pean STOXX 600 erased ear­lier gains to end the ses­sion 0.6 per cent lower. While ma­te­ri­als stocks and oil firms were the big­gest sec­toral fall­ers due to a pull­back in oil and cop­per prices, the big­gest in­di­vid­ual faller was Altice.

Altice plum­meted more than 13 per cent af­ter Mor­gan Stan­ley cut its price tar­get on the stock by 34 per cent, adding to pres­sure on the shares which are al­ready down 46 per cent this year.

Italy’s Saipem was an­other big faller, down more than 7 per cent af­ter it was re­moved from the MSCI Italy In­dex.

NEW YORK

US stock in­dexes fell as Gen­eral Elec­tric shares plunged for a sec­ond straight day and a drop in crude oil prices hit en­ergy stocks.

GE fell 5.9 per cent to $17.90 in the largest daily vol­ume in two years as in­vestors won­dered if a mas­sive over­haul of the com­pany by new Chief Ex­ec­u­tive John Flan­nery will be enough to re­vive the in­dus­trial con­glom­er­ate.

The Dow Jones fell 30.23 points, or 0.13 per cent, to end at 23,409.47, the S&P 500 lost 5.97 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 2,578.87 and the Nas­daq Com­pos­ite dropped 19.72 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 6,737.87. –

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