Business Irish

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Growth and trade fears sink shares

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

Irish Independent staff/agencies

Irish shares plunged more than 3pc yesterday - knocking billions of euro off valuations including some of the biggest names in the market.

In the US, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped into losses for the year on Thursday on mounting worries of slowing global growth after a fresh twist in China-US tensions as well as falling oil prices and US bond yields.

The Dow sank more than 3pc. Markets were shaken by Canada's arrest of the chief financial officer of Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies for extradition to the United States, casting fresh doubts over the prospect of Beijing and Washington striking a deal on trade tariffs in their 90-day truce period.

In Dublin, internationally-exposed heavyweights - including CRH, Ryanair, Aryzta and Kingspan - all saw significant share price drops. The domestic sector, including the banks and insurer FBD were all weaker.

The sell-off in global stocks deepened, leaving US shares mired in the steepest two-day slide since February and European equities at a two-year low as concern mounted that the rate of global economic growth has peaked. Oil slid as Opec ministers met in Vienna.

"There are so many forces weighing against markets right now, whether it's the China slowdown, weak European data, Fed hikes, uncertainty around trade and now Brexit as well," Bilal Hafeez, head of fixed-income research for EMEA at Nomura, told Bloomberg TV.

Oil continued to be a drag on financial markets, as Opec ministers seek a deal to cut output.

Irish Independent

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