Tuesday 28 January 2020

Europe's shares fall ahead of Yellen speech

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

Colm Kelpie

European shares posted their biggest drop in more than three weeks as a disappointing German sentiment report highlighted lingering concern about global growth before Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's address today in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.18pc, or 10.95 points, to end the trading day at 6,118.

The leaders on the Dublin market included building materials group CRH, which increased 2.3pc to €29.73, while packaging giant Smurfit Kappa slipped 2pc to €21.95

On the other side of the board, the laggards included speciality baker Aryzta, which fell 2.8pc to €34.13. Insulation group Kingspan dropped 1.9pc to €24.90.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.8pc to 342.02 at the close of trading, with all industry groups retreating.

Germany's DAX Index fell 0.9pc, for one of the biggest declines among major western-European markets, as data from the Ifo institute showed business sentiment in the region's largest economy unexpectedly weakened in August. A drop in drugmakers dragged the Swiss Market Index down 0.7pc, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index lost 1.1pc as banks resumed a slide.

"Ifo is influencing markets today, but all eyes are on Yellen," said Ralf Zimmerman, an equity strategist at Bankhaus Lampe in Dusseldorf, Germany.

"Investors won't position too aggressively ahead of the Yellen speech."

Investors are seeking clues on the trajectory of US interest rates, with Ms Yellen's upcoming address looked to for some clarity after recent hawkish comments from Fed officials. Fed funds futures indicate a 56pc chance of a US interest-rate hike this year.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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