Friday 15 December 2017

Iseq hits 2007 level as Macron lifts market

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The Iseq index of Irish shares topped 7,000 for the first time since 2007 yesterday, closing 1.1pc higher at 7,066.

The Irish gains came as signs that Emmanuel Macron is heading for victory in France's presidential election, added to good results from HSBC, helped push European shares to a near two-year high on Thursday, despite some wary signals from China and commodity markets.

A poll showing Macron had outperformed far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in a televised debate sent short-term French bond yields to their lowest in five months, with encouraging eurozone data also helping the mood.

At home, Kerry Group shares gained 4pc to close at €80.30 after well-received first quarter results.

While shares were better on European markets, oil weakened. Crude's losses accelerated, erasing gains sparked by Opec's November output agreement, as concerns over a supply glut mounted. US stocks fluctuated after falling in oil's tow as earnings boosted insurers.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell more than 4pc, plunging below $46 a barrel for the first time since November.

And in the US the S&P 500 Index was virtually unchanged after sliding in midday trading, as American International Group led gains among insurers. Metals extended their biggest daily plunge of the year amid ample supplies and concern demand from China is flagging. Treasury yields headed higher after the Federal Reserve signalled it's on track to lift rates in June.

In currencies, the dollar continued a rise started across the Fed's meeting on Wednesday and the euro meanwhile drew some support from Macron's debating performance ahead of Sunday's French election. (Reuters/Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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