Thursday 20 July 2017

Global surge in markets greets arrival of IMF team

Peter Flanagan and Donal O'Donovan

STOCK markets surged worldwide yesterday as it emerged representatives of the IMF were finally in Dublin to pore over the country's accounts.

"The strain on the Irish banks is now intolerable as they lose depositors and their assets decrease in value. It's time for pragmatism. There is a realisation that Ireland will have to access the EU and International Monetary Fund," said David Buik, a market strategist at BGC Partners in London.

Lippo Suominen, an investment strategist at Nordea Bank in Helsinki said: "Investors are feeling more confident as the crisis in Ireland eases, but we have to remember that it's not all over."

The ISEQ surged to 2776, a gain of 3.10pc on the day.

National benchmark indexes rose in all of the 18 western European markets, except Iceland. The UK's FTSE 100 Index surged 1.3pc, while Germany's DAX Index increased 2pc, as did France's CAC 40 Index. In New York, the MSCI World Index had posted its biggest gain in three weeks.

Meanwhile, ratings agency Fitch said it planned to review Ireland's credit rating once details of a deal with the EU and IMF were known. It said the Government's efforts to restore confidence in the banking sector in September had failed and said there was considerable uncertainty over losses from residential mortgages.

Yesterday was the first time any of the agencies has commented since the start of the Irish debt crisis. Silence from the usually vocal agencies in the last two weeks has led to speculation they were lying low after their impact on the Greek crisis was widely condemned.

In April, EU officials accused the agencies of acting irresponsibly after Moody's downgraded Greek debt to "junk" status in the middle of the country's crisis.

Irish Independent

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