Tuesday 20 March 2018

Irish and European shares bounce back

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

Gavin McLoughlin

Irish shares recovered some of Tuesday and Wednesday's losses yesterday, with the ISEQ closing up 0.76pc at 6641.65.

Heavily weighted Bank of Ireland, CRH, Kingspan and Paddy Power Betfair all posted substantial gains. IFG led the laggards, getting pummelled as investors reacted to a fall in profits. It closed the day down more than 11pc.

Financial companies helped European stocks rise higher as lenders borrowed more than double what was forecast under an ECB programme.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rallied 0.9pc at the close, ending a three-day streak of losses. The banks sector rose 0.8pc. Lenders were allotted €233.5bn in the final round of the programme, the ECB said. Travel and leisure stocks rose the most since December, led by online bookmaker GVC Holdings which reported a stronger-than-expected increase in 2016 earnings and said it's made a good start to 2017.

"What the market is not pricing is a potential positive outcome of German and French elections," Christian Keller, head of economics research at Barclays, said.

"This scenario isn't priced in, but if this happens, you can see the market becoming more optimistic about some unfinished projects in Europe. Polls have shown that a chance of Le Pen victory in France is limited."

US stocks all but erased early gains by lunchtime yesterday on the East Coast, while Treasuries fluctuated with the dollar as investors watched developments in Washington for clues on the prospects for the Trump administration's pro-growth policies. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose after the Federal Reserve's John Williams suggested to the 'Wall Street Journal' that rates could rise more than three times this year.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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