Saturday 23 September 2017

ISEQ jump as Bernanke says Fed will extend purchases

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

IRISH shares increased yesterday as chairman of the US Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke addressed US politicians on the central bank's support for the world's biggest economy.

By early afternoon in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.35pc or 13.81 points to 4011.83.

Mr Bernanke began his semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress, stating that the Fed will extend the time period for asset purchases if the outlook for employment worsens.

In Dublin, it was a good start to the day for the airlines, with Aer Lingus up 2.1pc to €1.69, while rival Ryanair enjoyed a 1.3pc rise to €7.04.

Speciality baker Aryzta rose 1.3pc to €44.98, while drug company Elan edged up 0.6pc to a price of €10.66.

On the other side of the board, food ingredients company Kerry Group fell 0.7pc to €45.70, while insurance giant FBD dropped 0.65pc to €15.30.

Building materials firm Grafton fell 2.4pc to €5.33.

Elsewhere, European stocks rose. National benchmark indexes advanced in 10 of the 18 western-European markets.

Germany's DAX increased 0.7pc, while France's CAC 40 gained 0.8pc. The UK's FTSE 100 added 0.5pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.7pc to 297.29 by early afternoon.

"The market is looking at the Fed this week and expectations are for tapering to start in September," said James Butterfill, head of global equity strategy at Coutts & Co in London. "The key question is: if Bernanke does taper, how will he do it?"

BHP Billiton rose 2.7pc after saying quarterly iron-ore output jumped as its operations in Australia expanded.

L'Oreal lost 1.1pc after posting second-quarter sales growth that missed estimates.

Across the Atlantic, the dollar erased early gains and Treasuries rose amid the comments from Mr Bernanke.

S&P's 500 Index futures increased 0.3pc.

The yen fell against all 16 major counterparts.

The dollar reversed gains while Treasuries and S&P 500 futures turned higher as Bernanke's prepared testimony to the House Financial Services Committee said the central bank's asset purchases "are by no means on a preset course".

Irish Independent

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