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European markets dip on slump in metals

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European markets were subdued yesterday as mining stocks dipped on a slump in metals and investors focused on events later in the week with a potential impact on equities.

DUBLIN
Irish-Swiss bakery and consumer foods group, Aryzta climbed 4.24 per cent to close at €27.9376 in Dublin after issuing a trading update on Monday that traders said was welcome because it contained no bad news. Recently-hired chief executive, Kevin Toland, said that challenges at the Cuisine de France maker remained unchanged from September.

AIB added most of 1 per cent ahead of its scheduled entry to the MSCI standard index later this week. Such a move means that investors who track the index will have to own the Irish bank’s shares. They were up 1.8 per cent at one point in Dublin but closed 0.97 per cent ahead at €5.20.

Index heavyweight, building materials giant, CRH, shed three quarters of one per cent to €29.33. The stock has had a bumpy ride since the Irish group announced last month that it was going ahead with the €3 billion takeover of Ash Grove cement in the US, dealers said.

Elsewhere, cider maker C&C was down 1.37 per cent at €2.88. Paddy Power Betfair, last week rumoured to be in talks to buy an Australian rival, dipped own 0.4 per cent to €98.40.

LONDON
Miner Antofagasta fell 3.6 per cent, with rivals Anglo American and Fresnillo down 2.2 and 1.9 per cent respectively.

Banking giants Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group dragged on the market as investors braced for the Bank of England stress test results on Tuesday.

RBS was the biggest faller out of the trio, dropping 3.2 pence to 267.6p, while Lloyds and Barclays sunk by 0.6p to 65.5p and 1.9p to 187.5p respectively.

British Airways owner IAG surged after the Press Association reported the group had snapped up the Gatwick take-off and landing slots being sold by the administrators of failed airline Monarch.

PA understands the group has secured the majority of the ill-fated carrier’s slots at Britain’s second-busiest airport after tabling a significant bid that trumped rival airlines.

It has been reported Monarch’s slots at Gatwick and Luton are worth in the region of £60 million, with the most valuable at the West Sussex airport. Shares in IAG rose more than 1 per cent or 7.5p, to 603.5p while no-frills carrier easyJet climbed 20p to 1,385p.

Education publisher Pearson sunk 14.5p to 693.5p after it revealed plans to offload its language teaching unit Wall Street English to private equity firms Baring and Citic Capital for $300 million.

It said the deal will see a $100 million improvement in its net debt position as about $150 million of operating cash will be retained in the disposed business.

EUROPE
Julius Baer chief executive Boris Collardi surprised the market by resigning to take a new role at domestic rival Pictet Group. The Swiss private bank slumped towards the bottom of the index on the news, ending the day down 6.39 per cent at 56.40 Swiss francs.

French payment technology specialist, Ingenico advanced 3.68 per cent to €85.13 after analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded their rating on the stock.

Most of the continent’s leading indeces finished down on Monday.

NEW YORK
Wall Street’s major indexes came off session highs in afternoon trading on Monday as a more than $1 slide in US crude prices buffeted energy shares and semiconductor makers declined on concerns the memory chip “super cycle” would soon fade.

Oil majors Chevron fell about 1 per cent, while Exxon dipped 0.4 per cent. Micron Technology declined 3 per cent and Nvidia slipped 1.1 per cent, with the Philadelphia semiconductor index on track to post its biggest percentage loss in more than two weeks.

Time Inc was up more than 9 per cent after media company Meredith said it would buy the publisher of People, Sports Illustrated and Fortune magazines in a $1.84 billion deal. Meredith was up 11.7 per cent. – Additional reporting Bloomberg

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