Wednesday 21 March 2018

Dublin gains but EU stocks fall on fears of Fed's next move

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

IRISH stocks were up yesterday, avoiding the losses seen across much of Europe as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's policy meeting and indications on the future of US stimulus measures.

The ISEQ Overall Index was up 26.73 points or 0.68pc in afternoon trading to 3,957.60.

But it was a mixed picture across the Dublin market. Of the 44 share prices listed, 20 were up, 10 down and 14 remained static.

Mining and natural resources stocks were the big gainer. Four of the top five biggest increases were for mining companies. Tungsten and copper miner Ormonde was up 9pc to 6c, while Petroceltic, which has interest in Algeria and Italy, gained 7.5pc to €1.80. Providence's share price jumped 3.9pc to €6.60.

Fastnet Oil and Gas saw the biggest losses of the day by mid-afternoon. Its price dropped by 7.7pc to 24c.

Other gainers included Ryanair, up 2.1pc to €6.99. That comes after the carrier, now the biggest international airline in the world, secured 100pc shareholder approval for its order for 175 Boeing jets at an extraordinary general meeting on Tuesday.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary said yesterday that the airline will likely look at another share buy-back programme this year.

INM gave up some of its big gains from earlier in the week and was down 4.4pc to 4c, while Aer Lingus shed 1.4pc to €1.57.

Building materials supplier Grafton Group fell 1.6pc to €5.49, though Dublin stockbroker Goodbody said that results from UK housebuilders Berkeley, which said yesterday that sales were up 32pc in a year, highlights the improving operating environment for the UK merchants like Grafton.

Meanwhile, national benchmark indexes fell in 12 of the 18 western European markets as the Federal Reserve talks weighed on investor sentiment. Germany's DAX dropped 0.5pc, the UK's FTSE 100 lost 0.3pc and France's CAC 40 slid 0.4pc.


"At the very least the markets are looking for some clarification from Mr Bernanke," said VTB Capital strategist Neil Mackinnon.

"There is an economic case for just keeping things on hold, but the Fed, the advisory council and even Mr Bernanke himself have said that quantitative easing might actually be creating financial imbalances and excessive risk taking."

The composite Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.2pc to 292.55, as more than three shares declined for every two that gained.

In London BT retreated 2.4pc to £3.11, after the UK telco said Gavin Patterson will succeed Ian Livingston as chief executive.

Irish Independent

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