Friday 15 December 2017

Investors bet on a Fed rate increase

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

Sean Duffy

Traders bet yesterday that an interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve next month is a near certainty following stronger-than-expected economic data and expectations of big tax cuts and federal spending under the new Trump administration.

This level of market certainty about rate increases was last seen during the 2004-2006 rate hike cycle when the central bank, under then Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, raised rates at every policy meeting, analysts said.

"An isolated rate hike doesn't amount to beans. The important thing is more about communication of Fed policy in the medium and long term," said Lou Brien, market strategist at DRW Trading in Chicago.

Global IT group IBM will triple the number of its cloud data centres in Britain, it said yesterday, joining Facebook and Google in investing in the UK after its vote to leave the European Union.

IBM said it would build four new data centres to meet demand from its corporate and public sector clients who were increasingly storing data and managing their businesses in the cloud.

The Iseq overall index of Irish shares was up 0.25pc yesterday, rising 15.52 points to close at 6274.22

Insurance group FBD clawed back some of the losses made last week, with gains of 5.2pc in Tuesday's trading. Airline retail firm Datalex rose by 3.8pc, while Bank of Ireland shares were up by 3.2pc. The index was held back by over the course of the day by commodities stocks.

Elsewhere in Europe, London's FTSE 100 benchmark index was up 0.8pc, while the German DAX posted a rise of 0.3pc.

On bond markets, yields on Irish 10-year bills closed up 16 basis points, at 1.02.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Irish Independent

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