Tuesday 20 February 2018

Markets finish turbulent September on a high

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters

European markets ended September on a positive note yesterday, with bourses rebounding after big losses earlier in the week.

The spectre of deflation in the Eurozone reappeared, however. Consumer prices fell across the 19-nation bloc in September, adding pressure on the European Central Bank to inject more policy stimulus sooner rather than later.

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index was 1.47pc, or 88.92 points, higher a short while before the close.

Shares activity included Bank of Ireland, which was up 2.7pc at 34.4 cent, while Ryanair was 1.3pc higher at €13.12. The airline has applied for landing and takeoff slots at Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports in Paris - a long anticipated move by the carrier. It also unveiled a number of senior management changes.

Hibernia REIT was trading up 1.5pc at €1.27. It said it has fully let a property in Dublin to Twitter. It also said an apartment block it owns in the capital is fully let.

Insulation maker Kingspan was 2.2pc higher at €21.60, while Smurfit Kappa was down under 1pc at €24.05. It announced senior management changes yesterday.

In the UK, the FTSE-100 was 2.3pc higher just before 4pm, while France's CAC-40 was 2.7pc ahead and Germany's DAX up 2.4pc.

Shares in mining and trading firm Glencore, which plummeted on Monday along with commodity prices, jumped 10pc after it sought to reassure investors over its debt situation. They had risen 17pc on Tuesday.

"The market was squeezed and this is facilitating a rebound... although it's too early to say if risk appetite has returned," said Ifigest fund manager Roberto Lottici.

In the UK, Grafton Group was 1.4pc higher at £6.64, while food group Greencore was down slightly at £2.73.

Shares in retailer Sainsbury jumped over 13pc after it said it's on course to beat full-year profit expectations.

Meanwhile, annual Eurozone inflation in September was -0.1pc, turning negative for the first time since March and adding pressure on the ECB to extend and expand its quantitative easing programme of bond purchases.

This prompted one of the boldest ECB forecasts to date from analysts at Standard & Poor's. "We believe the ECB will extend its QE programme beyond September 2016, most likely until mid-2018, and that it could reach €2.4 trillion - more than twice the original €1.1 commitment," they said in a note. The inflation data helped keep the euro under pressure. It was last down 0.3pc at $1.1215.

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