Business Irish

Sunday 21 January 2018

Euro rises to highest level in three weeks

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

The euro jumped above $1.07 for the first time since mid-November on Monday, rebounding by around 2 cents after hitting 21-month lows as Italy's prime minister conceded defeat in a referendum on constitutional reform and said he would resign.

The single currency slid as much as 1.4pc in Asian trade to $1.0505 against the euro, its weakest since March 2015, as investors worried Matteo Renzi's departure would lead to more political instability in the currency union.

In Dublin, the Iseq overall index of Irish shares gained 0.94pc, rising 57.84 points to close at 6,232.30.

Oil and gas stocks were among the biggest winners of the day, while the days laggards were State-owned AIB, down almost 9pc, and food giants Kerry Group and Glanbia, each of whom lost more than 2pc.

Wall Street was also up yesterday afternoon, with financials and technology stocks powering the Dow to a new intraday high and boosting the S&P and the Nasdaq.

The Dow has been enjoying a record-setting rally, largely driven by bank and industrial stocks, which are expected to benefit the most from higher spending on infrastructure and simpler regulations under a Donald Trump administration.

The index has risen 5pc since the November 8 vote, while the S&P financial index has surged 14.3pc.

Crude rose above $55 a barrel to hit a 16-month high as rising prospects of a tightening market after last week's landmark Opec deal to cut production gave speculators impetus to increase bets on higher prices.

Monday's gains took the rally since the Opec agreement was struck to 19pc for Brent and 16pc for US crude.


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