Muted start to year on Stockholm market

The new year got off to a disappointing start on the Stockholm share market, with concerns about US growth making investors cautious.

The Stockholm stock exchange continued its downward trend on Thursday. At close, the OMXS index was down 0.8 percent to 343.0. Activity levels were low due to many traders and investors taking extended Christmas breaks. Turnover on Thursday stood at 18.9 billion kronor.

Clothing giant H&M was a big loser on Thursday, falling 3.0 percent to 77 kronor. H&M’s competitor Kappahl fell 6.4 percent to 77 kronor. There was also bad news from clothing retailers elsewhere in Europe, with Britain’s Next warning that it was ‘extremely cautious’ about prospects for 2008.

Other heavyweight shares to fall in Stockholm on Thursday were Volvo, down 1.4 percent to 104 kronor, and Sandvik, down 1.7 percent to 104.25 kronor.

Tobacco company Swedish Match bucked the trend, rising 2 percent to 154 kronor. Engineering company SKF was up 0.7 percent to 108.25 kronor, and bank SEB was up 0.9 percent to 165.50.