Euro weaker after ECB council meeting
A slew of mixed earnings reports by US bellwethers and a drop in oil prices piled pressure on stocks with the three major American indexes trading lower yesterday.
Crude fell about 1pc, but hovered near five-month highs after the International Energy Agency said 2016 would see the biggest fall in non-OPEC production in 25 years.
A recent rebound in oil, better-than-expected corporate results and a cautious Federal Reserve have pushed the S&P 500 to striking distance of its life-high of 2,134.72.
"The market has a singular focus to retake the old highs set back in May last year," said Sam Stovall, US equity strategist at S&P Global Market Intelligence in New York.
"Right now, it's probably just taking a little breather because it has come so far so fast, but I still see the market moving up and attempting to get back to break even."
As much as 77pc of the S&P companies that have reported so far in the first quarter beat estimates, according to Thomson Reuters.
But it still means a 7.2pc fall in profit on average, and a 1.4pc decline in revenue.
The euro turned lower against the US dollar yesterday after ECB president Mario Draghi pledged to keep monetary policy loose. The euro fell as traders looked past the European Central Bank meeting and weighed the potential for a more hawkish Federal Reserve next week, while the yen gained.
In Dublin, the Iseq closed down 1pc at 6,150.43. Permanent tsb rose 4.77pc to €2.75 a share. Housebuilder Abbey saw big gains, raising 5.78pc to €13.99 and Applegreen rose 4.35pc to €4.60. Ryanair dipped to €13.27 a share and Kerry was down at €83.14 a share.