Sunday 17 December 2017

European shares dip despite stimulus

Traders monitor screens displaying stock information at Qatar Stock Exchange in Doha. Photo: Reuters
Traders monitor screens displaying stock information at Qatar Stock Exchange in Doha. Photo: Reuters

US shares rose modestly and European stocks were little changed yesterday as investors digested testimony from former FBI Director James Comey before a Senate panel, while the euro fell after the ECB kept interest rates on hold and oil prices briefly touched one-month lows.

Investors also await the outcome of the general election in Britain as voting began on Thursday in a snap vote predicted to give Prime Minister Theresa May a larger parliamentary majority.

The FTSEurofirst 300 of top European equities briefly hit a three-week low of 1,526.29 after the ECB said subdued inflation meant it would continue to pump more stimulus into the region's economy. It still judged the eurozone economy to be rebounding and signalled it would not cut interest rates further.

MSCI's all-country world equity index was last down 0.33 points, or 0.07pc, at 467.3.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was last up 66.28 points, or 0.31pc, at 21,239.97. The S&P500 was up 3.87 points, or 0.16pc, at 2,437.01. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.24pc.

Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index closed down 0.04pc at 1,528.71 and the euro hit its lowest since May 31 against the US dollar of $1.1196 after the ECB announcement.

In Dublin the Iseq index rose 0.38pc to 6990. AIB shares continued to weaken, falling 6.86pc to €6.52 a share. CPL, down 3pc to €5.82 a share was also among the big decliners. Aryzta gained 2.7p to €29.80 a share and IFG was up 3.47pc to €1.79 a share. Elsewhere, sterling fell 0.2pc against the dollar as the UK voted.

Oil prices rebounded after benchmark Brent crude and US crude prices hit one-month lows of $47.56 and $45.20, after an unexpected surge in US inventories.

Reuters

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