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ISEQ slumps as investors retrench

Tuesday, December 03 17:39:04

The ISEQ fell sharply today as investors retrenched in the face of renewed nervousness as speculation mounted that the US Fed will row back on its stimulus policy.

The index dropped 96.62 points to 4,405.98.

U.S. stocks fell, sending the S and P 500 index lower for three straight sessions, as investors speculated the Federal Reserve may move to trim its stimulus earlier than some had anticipated. After eight weeks of gains in which the S and P 500 hit a series of record highs, investors may be locking in profits, analysts said.

"We are now back to talking about tapering and what it will mean to the markets ... However, it is dependent on good data, so yes, from a market perspective psychologically you could see a small correction but it won't be as big as what we saw in May," said Peter Garnry, equity strategist at Saxo Bank, referring to the steep global equities selloff seen when the prospect of tapering was first raised earlier this year.

Shares in C and C fell 11c to E4.34. Greene King, the UK pub chain, reported a 6.3pc increase in its interim EPS today, with lfl sales increasing by 3.5pc in the period to 13 October. The company says that growth has continued since then, especially in its food offering. Trading remained good especially in the London region with consumers more cautious outside the capital. "The results again suggest that trading in British pubs has stabilised and is showing some improvement in the current year. This sets a more benign backdrop for C and C in its H214 period," said Goodbody Stockbrokers.

Paddy Power stocks fell 10c to E56.35. Rival Betfair net revenue of 188m, (-6pc yoy) and adjusted EBITDA of 49m (+16pc yoy) came in 2pc and 6pc ahead of Goodbody's forecasts respectively. Sustainable revenues accounted for 77pc of group (H1 FY13:71pc) and were +1pc in H1 (due to Euro comp, +11 pc in Q2).