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ISEQ lower as Eurozone recession deepens
Thursday, 31st May 2012 09.30am

The ISEQ is lower this morning at 3,085, down 17 points having started the day a little higher. Nervous markets are the norm now as Spanish worries take a firm hold on spooked investors. China and Indian growth rates are falling while Spanish and Italian bond rates are rising. Switzerland and Germany are the two bright spots on an otherwise bleak canvas. Davy Stockbrokers takes a look at where we are this morning:

The raft of confidence indicators released yesterday by the European Commission all painted a similar picture of retrenchment

in the euro-zone with the fall in the headline economic sentiment measure from 92.9 to 90.6 consistent with a contraction in

output in Q2.

The main index now stands at its lowest level since October 2009, with significant falls in the services sector (-0.2

to -0.8), manufacturing (-0.5 to -0.8) and business confidence (10.1 to -10.3). Euro-zone CPI, released later today, should

decline to 2.4pc from 2.6pc, but has been quite sticky of late, owing to energy price pressures. As energy prices soften, the index should fall back below the ECB's target of 2pc in the coming months. European markets closed down yesterday, but may seek some respite in the unexpectedly positive UK Gfk consumer confidence measure for May. The index improved from -31 to -29, despite a consensus forecast of -32, with slowing inflation a factor in the renewed optimism of the UK consumer. Whether this is a temporary bounce or a sustained improvement in the index remains to be seen. UK Nationwide house prices should see little improvement, when data are released later today, as the UK property market continues to flat-line. Recall that the Rightmove index of asking prices was flat in May, so the final sales prices captured in the Nationwide measure would be expected to be a good deal lower in the current buyers' market according to Davy Stockbrokers.

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