Monday 23 October 2017

Global stocks rise as investors await Fed's stimulus plan


Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

ALL eyes were on the US early yesterday as investors waited for the Federal Reserve to decide whether to reduce its asset purchases.

Irish shares were down bucking the trend as the major European stocks increased by early afternoon, with the ISEQ Overall Index down 0.21pc, or 9.33 points to 4400.25.

Stocks around the world rose and emerging-market currencies weakened before the Federal Reserve announced its plans for monetary stimulus.

The pound also gained after UK unemployment fell to the lowest since April 2009.

The early leaders on the Dublin market included packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, which increased 2.8pc to €16.86 while Independent News & Media was up 1.6pc to 11 cents after the group announced it plans to issue 614,285,714 new ordinary shares to an employee trust. The shares will be issued assuming the company's planned firm placing and open offer goes ahead. The offer was approved by shareholders earlier this week.

Insulation group Kingspan increased 0.3pc to €12.42, while diary company Glanbia was up 0.3pc to €10.80.

On the other side of the board, drinks company C&C was down 2.9pc to €4.32 by early afternoon, while shipping and transport company Irish Continental fell 5.4pc to €24.61. Fruit company Fyffes slipped 2.4pc to 83 cents while Aer Lingus dropped 1.3pc to €1.28.

Elsewhere, European stocks rose, rebounding from a decline earlier in the week.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.9pc to 314.09 at 2:10pm. in London.

National benchmark indexes rose in 14 of the 18 western- European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 Index increased 0.3pc, France's CAC 40 added 0.9pc and Germany's DAX jumped 1.2pc.

"We will probably see Fed tapering as a gradual process rather than a dramatic change," Hugh Cuthbert, who helps manage about $1bn at SVM Asset Management in Edinburgh, said.

About 34pc of economists surveyed by Bloomberg earlier this month predicted that the US central bank will decide to reduce its $85bn monthly bond-buying programme after European markets closed yesterday.

German travel and tourism company TUI advanced 4.1pc after unexpectedly posting a full-year profit.

Finnish engineering company Elektrobit rallied 9.1pc after increasing its full-year forecast for operating profit.

Project management company Technip fell to its lowest price in two years after saying it expects a weaker profit margin at its subsea division next year.

(Additional reporting Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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