Friday 21 July 2017

Wall Street up but Italy weighs on Europe

An customer exchanges US dollars to Egyption Pounds in a foreign exchange office in central Cairo, Egypt
An customer exchanges US dollars to Egyption Pounds in a foreign exchange office in central Cairo, Egypt
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Wall Street rose in early trading yesterday, sending the Nasdaq to a record intraday high, helped by a jump in technology shares as higher oil prices boosted energy stocks.

The S&P also hovered close to a record high, while the Dow also inched closer to its record. The three main US stock indexes have rallied since the US election as investors bet Donald Trump's policies would be market friendly.

Oil prices jumped 3.2pc to a near three-week high of $48.30 per barrel amid hopes of the OPEC reaching an agreement to cut output. The dollar index's first drop in 11 days also helped.

In contrast, European shares fell yesterday, weighed down by losses among pharmaceuticals and financials and by worries that next month's Italian referendum on constitutional reform could create political instability. Italy's blue chip index fell 1pc after hitting its lowest point since end-September as investors price in possible rejection of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's reform plan. If Renzi loses the referendum, as polls predict, the Italian government could fall, threatening to destabilise the whole continent ahead of a string of national elections next year.

In Germany, shares in chip designer Aixtron fell more than 6pc after a US regulator moved to stop a planned Chinese takeover. The move raised concerns the deal would not go through.

In Dublin, the Iseq index closed down slightly at 6281.41, just 0.20pc off the opening. Resources led the gainers, with Ormonde Mining, Kenmare and Providence Resource all up between 4.25pc and 10pc.

On the flip side, Donegal Investments (-7.09pc), Mainstay Medical (-6.45pc) and Datalex (-5.89pc) were all lower.

Irish Independent

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