Monday 18 December 2017

Irish shares rise slightly to buck European trend

The broader gauge of equities pared losses of as much as 0.7pc
The broader gauge of equities pared losses of as much as 0.7pc

Irish shares bucked the European trend yesterday by rising slightly while the major stocks fell.

By the close of business, the ISEQ Overall Index was up fractionally - by 0.2pc or 9.72 points - to end the trading day at 4825.77

European stocks fell to a four-week low, erasing earlier gains, as UK shares dropped after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the time to increase interest rates was getting closer.

The leaders in Dublin included speciality baker Aryzta, which increased 1.8pc to €69.91, while Providence Resources was up 3.3pc to €1.58.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, which slipped 1.8pc to €16.47, and Glanbia, which fell 0.8pc to €11.31.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.9pc at the close, after earlier gaining as much as 0.5pc.

The UK's FTSE 100 Index fell 1pc as Mr Carney said the judgment on when to increase the benchmark rate from a record low of 0.5pc has become "more balanced" in recent months.

Greece's ASE Index fell 1.63pc for the biggest decline among 18 western-European national gauges. Portugal's PSI 20 Index lost 1.3pc. Germany's DAX Index slid 1.6pc, and France's CAC 40 Index dropped 1.3pc.

"Markets are torn between two different drivers," said Ralf Zimmermann, an equity analyst at Bankhaus Lampe in Dusseldorf.

"On the one side, you have the sugar by the ECB, which could get sweeter. On the other side, this withdrawal of monetary stimulus by the Fed and the Bank of England, along with the prospect of interest rate hikes. Further down the road, we see this as more of a risk for markets as stock investors build their positions on expectations of ongoing growth without any rate hike threat."

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto Group, the world's biggest mining companies, lost 2.9pc and 2.4pc respectively. Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz fell 4.2pc.

Irish Independent

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