Tuesday 16 October 2018

Iseq nears two-year low amid turbulence

 

Caution remains the key word across global markets as investors try to gauge whether the recent sell-off has room to run. (stock picture)
Caution remains the key word across global markets as investors try to gauge whether the recent sell-off has room to run. (stock picture)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The Iseq index of Irish shares was close to a two-year low in afternoon trading yesterday, with a number of big names suffering sharp falls amid wider downward pressure on equities.

Smurfit Kappa was down 6pc, Kingspan was down 4.4pc and Ryanair was down almost 3.6pc - dragging the index to lows last seen around the beginning of 2017. Just before 4pm yesterday the index was at 6172.31.

Paddy Power Betfair, which faces a one percentage point hike in betting duty on the back of the Budget, was down more than 1pc.

A risk-off tone gripped financial markets, with US stocks falling to the lowest since mid-August in early trading as Treasury yields rose and the effects of the trade war hit corporate profits. Oil fell from $75 a barrel even as a major hurricane headed for the Florida Panhandle.

The S&P 500 was mired in its longest slide since Donald Trump's election win on rising concern that higher yields will crimp corporate earnings.

Chipmakers sank, dragging the Nasdaq indexes to the lowest since July, while Estee Lauder and Tiffany led losses after French luxury goods maker LVMH confirmed China is enforcing customs rules more strictly. The 10-year bond climbed to 3.23pc.

Caution remains the key word across global markets as investors try to gauge whether the recent sell-off has room to run.

"The biggest thing going on in markets is you're seeing an unwind," said Sameer Samana, a global quantitative and technical strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

"You had stocks doing really well, rates for the most part were very well-behaved. When you've got these risk-off moments, especially when you're later in the cycle, there is some concern on the part of investors where it's like, 'Is this the beginning of the end?'"

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index dropped as declines for industries including miners and carmakers outweighed gains in telecom companies and banks.

Italian bonds erased a slump as the deputy premier predicted yields on the debt won't blow out too far because of the government's budget plans.

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