Thursday 22 February 2018

European stocks slip as Fed official predicts stimulus cut

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

IRISH shares fell yesterday in line with European stocks as a US Federal Reserve Bank official said it may ease off its stimulus at its next meeting.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.6pc, or 26.28 points, to end the week at 4,266.26.

It has been a mixed few days for the market and it ended the week lower than it began.

European stocks dropped from a five-year high as Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis president James Bullard said the central bank may decide to reduce bond purchases at its next policy meeting.

The leaders in the Dublin market included food-ingredients company Kerry Group, which increased 1.4pc to €45.61, while drug company Elan rose 0.8pc to €11.54.

Fruit company Fyffes rose 2.9pc to 78 cent and dairy firm Glanbia closed up 0.9pc to €10.13.

On the other side of the board, bookmakers Paddy Power fell 0.8pc to €60, while specialty baker Aryzta slipped 3.2pc to €48.02.

Drinks company C&C was down 3.4pc to €48.02, while shipping and transport company Irish Continental was down 2.1pc to €24.34.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.3pc to 314.2 at the close of trading, after earlier climbing as much as 0.2pc.

The equity benchmark has still risen 0.9pc this week, extending its rally so far this year to 12pc, as the Fed refrained from slowing the pace of its bond-buying programme at its last policy meeting.

National benchmark indexes fell in 11 of the 18 western European markets.

The UK's FTSE 100 slid 0.4pc and Germany's DAX slipped 0.2pc. France's CAC 40 Index dropped 0.1pc.

"Almost every single investor expected the Fed to taper," Henrik Drusebjerg, senior strategist at Nordea Bank in Copenhagen, said.

"Bullard's comments are definitely something that would concern investors as we've seen quite a rally this week on the back of the Fed indicating that it will delay tapering."

Sports giant Adidas slid 3pc after lowering its profit forecast for 2013.

Deutsche Bank lost 2.1pc after a report said Germany's biggest bank might forecast lower revenue in its fixed-income division from a year earlier.

Across the Atlantic, US stocks fell and treasuries advanced as investors weighed the comments from the Fed official on potential stimulus cuts.

Irish Independent

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