Saturday 24 February 2018

European markets steady after turmoil

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

Sean Duffy

Shares across Europe were up yesterday as market sentiment steadied after a number of days of turmoil.

The recoveries came on the back of strong jobs data from the US. The American economy added 172,000 jobs in June, ahead of forecasts by 13,000.

Gains in major consumer goods stocks such as Danone and Associated British Foods also spurred investors.

London's FTSE 100 rose 1.09pc with banking and property shares finally arresting a decline which has caused concern throughout the financial system.

However, UK consumer confidence sunk to a four-and-a-half year low.

The ISEQ Index of Irish shares also recovered some of the recent losses. Shares in State-owned AIB rallied by 3.79pc, trading at €6.30pps.

Merrion Pharma was the biggest winner with a 33pc rise to €0.16 per share. Donegal Investment Group gained 5.09pc, while Providence Resources added 6.25 pc. Aminex rose by 7.14pc.

Germany's DAX rose 0.49pc, while in France the CAC 40 was up 0.80pc.

On the currency markets, the pound continued to linger at $1.29, close to its lowest level for 31 years. The euro was trading at $1.10 and 86 pence sterling.

Industrial production in Germany fell 1.3pc in May in a worrying development for the EU as a whole.

Rating agency Fitch announced that it had downgraded a record 14 countries in 2016. The agency said that more downgrades were likely in the coming months. Fitch said that some European governments were not using extra fiscal space to reduce the public deficit.

Brent crude dropped $1.04 to $48.38 a barrel, while US crude fell by 98 cents to $47.01 a barrel.

Irish Independent

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