BoI and PTSB shares among Europe's heaviest losses

BoI and PTSB shares among Europe's heaviest losses

Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB were among the heavy losers in Europe as selling resumed across the world following a shortlived post-Santa rally.

The Iseq Overall index finished 1% lower to notch up losses for the year of 23%, weighed in the latest session by hefty losses of 4.2% for Bank of Ireland and a drop of almost 5% for Permanent TSB.

From an early start selling had hit European stock markets and resumed in the US -- despite the huge spike that had promised some sort of year-end rally earlier in the week.

The losses in Europe were unevenly spread -- Frankfurt's Dax index ended almost 2.4% lower while the Cac-40 index in Paris fell only 0.5%. London's Ftse-100 fell 1.5% and there may be worse to come.

"After [St Stephen's Day’s] record surge in the US, we have seen equities drop back, although most of the gains are largely intact," said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.

"However, the inability of markets to follow-through on what was a classic bear market rally sends a worrying signal – if this was the old bull market of a few months ago the momentum trade would have taken off by now, but instead Wall Street continues to edge lower, while in Europe the reversal has been swift and unrelenting," Mr Beauchamp said.

He added: "The low volume conditions make it hard to judge whether this bounce has legs, and from the looks of the European session there isn’t much to be positive about. If this is a Santa rally of the true sort, it didn’t last long."

BP shares in London fell by over 2.5% as crude oil prices plunged.

Brent crude--a global benchmark--slid $1.14 to $53.33 a barrel in London.

And it traded over $8 a barrel above the price of the US crude benchmark, West Texas Intermediate.

According to Bloomberg, crude’s recent sell-off was a grim reminder that Opec's management of the oil market isn’t foolproof.

The group decided on December 7 to curb output among members and allied producers in a bid to prop up sinking prices.

Instead, it resulted in the worst post-cut price decline in a decade. Brent has now fallen as much as 16%, or nearly $10 a barrel, following that announcement.

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