Europe’s major stock markets dipped yesterday in subdued trading on a public holiday in the US.
London sentiment was knocked by news that British construction group Carillion has collapsed, which weighed in particular on share prices of its joint venture partner companies.
London’s FTSE 100 index of leading shares closed down 0.1% at 7,769.14 points.
Wall Street is closed yesterday owing to a US public holiday.
“It has been an uninspiring start to the week, with market volumes and volatility expected to be muted given the absence of US activity as the nation respects Martin Luther King day,” said analyst Joshua Mahony at trading firm IG.
The euro meanwhile soared to a three-year peak at $1.2297 as Germany’s preliminary coalition deal calmed eurozone nerves.
“With the euro at three-year highs against the US dollar and with the potential to make further gains the DAX and CAC40 have come under some mild selling pressure on top of the small losses seen last week,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC markets UK.
The CAC 40 in Paris slid 0.1% at 5,509.69 while the DAX 30 in Frankfurt shed 0.3% to 13,200.51 points yesterday.
Carillion announced its immediate liquidation yesterday after the heavily-indebted British contractor failed to secure a financial rescue from the UK government or banks in last-ditch talks.
The company’s share price, which tumbled 28.95% to 14.20 pence in reaction, was subsequently suspended by London’s Financial Conduct authority regulator.
Carillion, which employs 43,000 staff worldwide including 19,500 in Britain, said that the government would nevertheless provide some funding to allow current state projects to continue, following talks over the weekend.
“Carillion’s collapse continued to dominate what would have otherwise been a very quiet start to the trading week,” noted Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
“Much of the morning has seen Carillion’s peers and partners let investors know whether or not they will be hurt by the company’s liquidation.”
Balfour Beatty, which has three joint venture construction schemes with Carilllion, saw its share price slide around three% after warning over the impact of the collapse.
Wall Street once again provided a strong lead on the back of optimism about corporate earnings in light of Donald Trump’s tax cuts as well as the improving global economic outlook.
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