Business Irish

Friday 23 February 2018

Slide continues ahead of US Fed meeting

A trader speaks on the phone at his desk at the Frankfurt stock exchange. Photo: Reuters
A trader speaks on the phone at his desk at the Frankfurt stock exchange. Photo: Reuters
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares fell again yesterday, the fifth session in a row, as the commodity crash showed no sign of abating and markets waited for the US Federal Reserve to announce its decision on interest rates.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index had slipped 0.58pc, or 38.19 points, to close at 6,589.96. The index has fallen nearly 4pc in the last five days.

Petroneft, Aminex and Kenmare Resources slid once more as commodity prices continued to fall. Oil slumped to an 11-year low.

Allied Irish Bank dropped 7.9pc. The lender is expected to get the go-ahead to repay part of its bailout tomorrow.

Aryzta fell 3.1pc to €43.02. The Irish-led speciality baker has been a victim of the rising Swiss Frank, which is putting pressure on its margins.

CRH gave up 1.7pc to €25.69. The construction materials giant does much of its business in the US, and so is seen as sensitive to higher interest rates.

Property firms in contrast had a decent start to the week. Hibernia REIT added 2.4pc to close at 1.38, while rival Green Reit closed at €1.58.

It was a bitter start to the week around Western Europe, with shares falling to a 10-week low on the commodities and rate rise fallout.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index of top European companies slipped 1.8pc. In London, the FTSE 100 tumbled 1.3pc while the CAC 40 in Paris shed 1.7pc. It was worse in Frankfurt where the DAX dropped 1.9pc.

"Nobody is ready to go in and buy and at the moment the sentiment is stay out of the commodities, oil and high-yield sector," said Benno Galliker, a Swiss-based trader. "The big news is on Wednesday with the Fed hiking rates, but until then, the market will react to everything."

Irish Independent

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