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Oil, banks trip up European shares

05/26/2017 | 12:35pm EST
People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares slid in thin trade on Friday as shares in energy firms and banks dropped, ending a lacklustre week relatively little changed.

The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> index closed 0.2 percent lower as did the euro zone blue chips <.STOXX50E>.

Banks <.SX7P> were the biggest drag, falling 0.6 percent and hitting a one-week low earlier in the session.

Traders cited worries over the political situation in Italy and concerns surrounding ailing regional banks Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca, even though the county's economy minister sought to reassure investors on Thursday that they will not be hit in any rescue of the two banks.

In the sector, Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo (>> Intesa Sanpaolo SpA), Mediobanca (>> Mediobanca Group) and UniCredit (>> UniCredit SpA) reduced losses after earlier falls, while Germany's Deutsche Bank (>> Deutsche Bank AG), Bank of Ireland (>> Bank of Ireland) and Britain's Lloyds (>> Lloyds Banking Group PLC) were among the biggest fallers.

Exane analysts also flagged "uninspiring newsflow" from global regulators of the Basel Committee. A top official said on Thursday they would soon finalise rules to ensure banks hold enough capital to withstand rocky markets without taxpayer aid.

Oil stocks <.SXEP> were the biggest sectoral fallers, down more than 1 percent as the oil price tumbled following OPEC's decision to extend a production cut to March 2018, which disappointed investors. [O/R]

"In hindsight, we can now clearly say that there must have been a substantial amount of anticipation in the market for not only an extension of cuts, but also for deeper cuts," Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB, said in a note.

Heavyweights Royal Dutch Shell <RDSa.L> and Total (>> Total) both declined around 0.6 percent.

A further slump in Petrofac (>> Petrofac Limited) took losses in the British oilfield services firm close to 38 percent over the past two sessions after several brokers more than halved their price targets on the stock.

The company lost one third of its market value in the previous session after it suspended its chief operating office amid a fraud investigation.

More broadly, analysts pointed to recent euro strength as a drag for European equities.

"Those markets have run quite far and the fact that the euro has been strong ... particularly against the dollar, maybe we are getting to the stage where that's slightly putting the brakes on that advance," Ian Williams, economist & strategist at Peel Hunt, said.

Britain's FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index was a bright spot, however, with the index closing at a record level and posting its fifth week of straight gains as sterling weakened more than 1 percent.

(Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Alison Williams)

By Kit Rees and Danilo Masoni

© Reuters 2017
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMP LIMITED 0.00% 0.92 End-of-day quote.-41.03%
BANK OF IRELAND GROUP PLC -0.12% 5.01 Real-time Quote.52.00%
FTSE 100 0.24% 7357.22 Delayed Quote.13.61%
MSCI UNITED KINGDOM (STRD) 1.42% 1140.665 Real-time Quote.8.65%
NEXT PLC -0.95% 8294 Delayed Quote.18.26%
S&P UNITED KINGDOM (PDS) 0.26% 1472.15 Delayed Quote.13.07%
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Analyst Recommendations on BANK OF IRELAND GROUP PLC
More recommendations
Sales 2021 2 846 M 3 214 M 3 214 M
Net income 2021 735 M 830 M 830 M
Net Debt 2021 - - -
P/E ratio 2021 7,34x
Yield 2021 3,12%
Capitalization 5 391 M 6 060 M 6 088 M
Capi. / Sales 2021 1,89x
Capi. / Sales 2022 1,84x
Nbr of Employees 9 211
Free-Float 91,0%
Duration : Period :
Bank of Ireland Group plc Technical Analysis Chart | BIRG | IE00BD1RP616 | MarketScreener
Technical analysis trends BANK OF IRELAND GROUP PLC
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 13
Last Close Price 5,02 €
Average target price 6,42 €
Spread / Average Target 27,9%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
Francesca Jane McDonagh Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Myles O’Grady Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Patrick Thomas Kennedy Chairman
Jackie Noakes Group Chief Operating Officer
Fiona Muldoon Independent Non-Executive Director
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