Business World

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Global markets hit by Ukraine fears

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The ISEQ index of Irish shares closed down a quarter of a percent yesterday, after a sharp mid-afternoon drop undid positive momentum from strong US earnings overnight.

Global stock markets and the US dollar all pulled back from early strong gains late yesterday amid worries about rising tensions in Ukraine.

Confidence took a particular hit after the Interfax news agency reported that Russian military drills will include airplanes and troops along Russia's border with Ukraine.

Earlier, markets had been boosted by results from tech giants Apple and Facebook. Even in late trading, US technology shares beat that wider weaker trend. Shares of Facebook were still up modestly yesterday, while Apple gained 7.9pc. Bellwethers Caterpillar, General Motors and Aetna also rose after results.

With geo-political tensions to the fore, exporters and globalised names led the declines on the Irish stock market. Smurfit Kappa shares closed down 3.57pc at €16.20 each, Glanbia was down 3.09pc at €10.495 a share and Fyffes were off just over 2pc.

Bank of Ireland slipped ahead of its AGM today in Dublin, with shares ending the session at 27.7 cents each.

On the other side of the table, resources dominated the risers. Ormonde Mining rose nearly 16pc to nearly 6 cents each.

Kenmare Resources shares rose to 16.4 cents each after it reported a significant increase in mining and production in the first quarter of the year.

PetroNeft shares continued their recent rise to close at 8.15 cents each after the company said shareholders will get a vote on its latest farm-out deal at next month's EGM.

The escalating tensions in Ukraine also hurt European stock markets, erasing early gains from mergers and acquisitions activity and upbeat statements from electrical gear maker Schneider Electric and oil services group Technip. (Additional reporting Reuters)

Irish Independent

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