DUBLIN: Uncertainty over the Brexit trade talks sent the Irish stock market down. The Iseq stocks index in Dublin closed lower amid gains in European markets. The fall is thought to be due to investors’ cautious stance ahead of the Brexit trade talks. While officials were skeptical that Britain and the European Union would reach an agreement to regulate post-Brexit trade, investors saw the Johnson-von der Lane meeting as a last resort.
The Iseq index ended 0.7% lower at 7,427.28. At the same time, pan-European Stoxx 600 advanced 0.3%. Shares of Irish banking plunged during a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday evening between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. AIB shares fell 0.4%, while Bank of Ireland rose 1.5%.
Shares of Irish Ferries owner Irish Continental Group fell 0.9 per cent to €4.38. Market heavyweight CRH lost 2.4%, weakening UK business expectations.
Prior to the meeting between Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen, the value of the FTSE 250, considered the Brexit sentiment barometer in London, rose 0.1 percent. The blue-chip FTSE 100 led by consumer discretionary and communication services stocks also rose in the seventh session.
Investors are optimistic that business will return to normal sooner than expected as the UK became the first country to launch a mass vaccination against COVID-19 this week.
Shares of Howden Joinery, a British kitchens supplier affected by the Corona virus crisis, gained about 5 per cent. Meanwhile, shares of food delivery company Just Eat Takeaway. com rose 7 per cent.
Germany’s DAX closed at 0.5%, but retreated from a three-month peak. While the auto market in Europe gained, the tech sector suffered a downturn. Shares of chipmaker STMicroelectronics fell 12%. This is due to the postponement of the annual sales target of $12 billion (€9.94 billion) to 2023. Shares of Signify, a Dutch-based lighting company, fell 4.2%.
Johnson & Johnson picked up gains from last session. At the same time, the real estate and utility sectors declined. Oil prices also rose as energy stocks soared.