Monday 19 February 2018

Fed glow dissipates as European shares fall on growth worries

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

Bloomberg/Colm Kelpie

European shares fell as investors turned their attention back to global growth prospects, after the Federal Reserve's interest rate move helped the Stoxx Europe 600 Index to its biggest three-day advance since August.

The benchmark gauge slid 1pc to 361.23 at the close of trading, trimming its weekly gain to 1.5pc.

It's still heading for its worst December since 2002.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was little changed, having dropped just 0.05pc, or 3.35 points, to end the trading week at 6,747.99.

The leaders on the Dublin market included insulation group Kingspan, which rose 1.1pc to €25.90, while Ryanair increased 1.9pc to €15.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included CPL Resources, which slipped 1.6pc to €6.15, while drinks group C&C dropped 1.3pc to €3.74.

"Bullish Fed rhetoric can only get you so far," said Michael Ingram, a market strategist at BGC Partners in London.

"None of the worries about global growth and financial instability have really gone away. Given year-to-date performance, any Santa Rally is likely to prove cold comfort."

The Stoxx 600 rose 4.4pc in the three days through Thursday on optimism that the Federal Reserve would judge the world's biggest economy strong enough to cope with higher borrowing costs. Exporters and financial companies led a rally yesterday after Fed Chair Janet Yellen satisfied markets with the first US interest-rate increase in almost a decade, while assuring that further moves will be gradual.

While the Stoxx 600 posted its first weekly rise in three, it is still down 6.3pc this month.

After a 14pc jump from its September low through end November, the gauge lost as much as 9.3pc.

Irish Independent

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