Wednesday 21 March 2018

European markets await stimulus news

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters


European bourses ended yesterday in negative territory as investors weighed the likelihood of the European Central Bank announcing fresh stimulus measures tomorrow.

Ireland's ISEQ Overall Index was barely changed, at 6,840.46.

The euro recovered from a multi-month low against the US dollar as investors pared bets that the ECB will soon ease policy further, while crude remained under pressure from oversupply concerns.

Eurozone unemployment fell to its lowest level in almost four years in October, new data showed.

On the ISEQ, shares in fruit distributor Fyffes fell 3.1pc, or 5 cent, to €1.55, while shares in hotel group Dalata yielded 2.9pc, or 15 cent, to end the session at €5.00.

Gainers included Hibernia REIT, which added 1.4pc, or 2 cent, to finish at €1.40. CRH nudged up 0.3pc to close at €27.94.

The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.3pc yesterday as shares in industrial gases manufacturer Linde slumped. Shares in the firm closed down 14pc after it cut its 2017 operating profit forecast.

That also pushed down Germany's DAX, which fell 1.06pc, while France's CAC-40 was down 0.87pc.

The UK's FTSE finished the day 0.6pc higher.

The DAX was also hit by Volkswagen. Shares in the vehicle maker fell 1.1pc after it said that its sales in the United States last month tumbled 25pc following the continuing fallout from the emissions scandal.

In the United States, shares opened strongly, with investors awaiting crucial non-farm payroll data later on this week.

Figures also showed that US manufacturing activity unexpectedly contracted in November.

Irish Independent

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