Tuesday 16 January 2018

Ptsb up as markets bet against Brexit

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

Sean Duffy

All eyes were on the UK yesterday as markets waited for the outcome of the Brexit referendum.

The ISEQ Index of Irish shares made gains of 1.28pc. Banking stocks had a particularly strong day, with Bank of Ireland up 5.84pc while speculation about a possible merger pushed Permanent Tsb shares up 9.7pc.

Meanwhile, there were reports of long queues at foreign exchange offices in London as members of the public sought to cash in on the pound prior to the vote.

Markets were boosted after a number of polls in the UK showed that support for the remain camp was strengthening. An Ipsos/Mori poll on Thursday showed 52pc in favour of remaining within the EU.

The FTSE 100 Index gained 1.23pc to close at 6,338.10. The pound surged in early trading to a year high of $1.4947 before being pegged back later in the day to $1.48201. One pound was trading at €1.113596. Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX was up 1.85pc, the CAC made similar gains of 1.96pc while the Eurostoxx 50 Index was up 1.35pc. The S&P 500 was up marginally (0.89pc) to 2,103.92.

EU manufacturing rose to 52.6 from 51.5 the previous month, buoyed by German production which increased two points from the previous reading.

Meanwhile, the number of jobless Americans now stands 259,000, well below the 300,000 threshold which is considered a strong indicator on the state of the economy. Factory output was also up across the US with manufacturing figures hitting a three-month high in early June.

The continued depression in oil prices was reflected in accounts published by OPEC. The cartel announced its revenues had plunged by $438bn to $518bn, the lowest levels seen since 2005.

Irish Independent

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