Thursday 14 December 2017

IMF warning sends stocks lower

Getty Images
Getty Images

A stark warning from the IMF about the global growth outlook and the prospects for Spain and Greece sent European stocks and the single currency lower.

The ISEQ closed down 0.9pc to €14.17 as CRH took a battering over a failed Indian acquisition. Glanbia was down 3.2pc to close at €7.37 and Paddy Power dropped 2.4pc.

European shares declined for a second day as the region's finance ministers gathered in Luxembourg to discuss the sovereign-debt crisis.

In Europe the likely impact of the IMF's warning of weaker growth corporate earnings helped send the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top company shares down 0.1pc to 1,099.64 points, adding to its 1pc loss on Monday.

The euro fell 0.2pc to $1.2940, over a cent below a two-week high of $1.3072 hit on Friday.

US stock index futures pointed to Wall Street following the downward trend in equity markets when trading opens.

The gloomier picture of the economic outlook came as riskier asset markets such as equities are on the hunt for confirmation of a pick-up in activity after prices rose sharply last month when the world's major central banks eased policy aggressively.


The International Monetary Fund's decision to mark down future growth in emerging markets as well as developing economies sent global shares, as measured by the MSCI world equity index, down 0.2pc.

The fund also warned that any failure by policymakers in the United States and Europe to fix their economic problems could even prolong the current slump.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi added his weight to the gloomier view, telling European lawmakers meeting in Luxembourg he expected weak activity to continue with the risks to even this forecast on the downside.

"Some things have improved in the last two or three months, but I think the road ahead is still long and it's uphill," Draghi said.

The growth worries offset a slightly more positive mood in Asian markets which followed China's injection of around $42bn of cash into its money markets.

That boosted speculation its central bank may soon do more to support slowing growth.

The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.5pc, pulled higher by rises in Hong Kong and China shares after the move.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Promoted Links

Also in Business