Wednesday 18 October 2017

Irish shares little changed, US volatile

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

The ISEQ index of Irish shares was little changed yesterday, while fluctuation in US stocks was at near-record levels as investors assessed the latest political developments in Washington.

In Dublin, Providence Resources was the biggest gainer, advancing 21pc to almost 8c each. The stock is still floating just above record lows after a pair of dry wells were hit during a summer drilling campaign.

IFG Group was up almost 4pc, while Cairn Homes rose nearly 3pc. On the other side of the board, Conroy Gold and Natural Resources fell 14pc on the first full day of trading after a turbulent egm last week. The index closed down 0.61pc at 6817.57.

In the US, a top Republican senator sparred verbally with President Donald Trump, raising some concern that planned tax reform may be stalled. In Europe, Spanish stocks led a rally. Oil crept toward the $50-a-barrel mark after OPEC's chief dangled the possibility of prolonging supply curbs well into next year.

Oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia are succeeding in shrinking a worldwide glut of crude, yet may need to take further steps to sustain the effort, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said. The Saudi state-owned oil company announced the "deepest customer allocation cuts in its history", a reference to how much oil it intends to ship next month.

"It's kind of a day of indecision," Michael Hiley, head of over-the-counter energy trading at New York-based LPS Partners, said. Until producers formally agree to extend the cuts, the market is likely to ignore OPEC headlines, he said.

US explorers raised crude production to 9.56 million barrels a day in the week ended September 29, the fourth straight increase since Hurricane Harvey slammed south Texas and forced some wells to shut down. Output has risen 9pc this year, on track for the largest annual increase since 2014.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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