Monday 23 April 2018

ISEQ slips to buck upward trend

Dublin was out of step with the sharp rise in most global markets
Dublin was out of step with the sharp rise in most global markets
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Shares were weaker in Dublin yesterday, out of step with the sharp rise in most global stocks after the US Federal Reserve signalled that so- called loose money stimulus policies will go on longer than many in the markets expected.

The ISEQ index of Irish shares closed down slightly at 4,038 but on Wall Street stocks briefly jumped as much as 1pc at the opening following Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's comments that the US central bank sees "a highly accommodative policy" being needed for the foreseeable future.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 120.15 points, or 0.79pc, at 15,411.81. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 15.62 points, or 0.95pc, at 1,668.24. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 35.95 points, or 1.02pc, at 3,556.71.

In Europe the boost from the US took shares to a five week high. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of the continent's biggest traded companies climbed 0.4pc, touching 1,201.79, the highest level since early June.

The dollar fell against global currencies on the same news. In Dublin, shares in house builder Abbey closed up 4.42pc to €8.74 each after it announced profits of €10.9m last year.

Shares in Elan slipped 3.10pc to €10.64, as the heat comes off the putative takeover battle for the pharma royalties business.

Smurfit Kappa shares closed up 3.29pc at €13.57 each, continuing a positive run.

In the UK, Penneys owner ABF enjoyed strong gains after announcing a 9pc rise in revenues over the past 40 weeks led by the Irish affordable fashion brand.

Outside Ireland, the Fed was the big story but large swings in currencies, stocks and bonds over recent weeks have highlighted the tricky task it and other central banks face as they try and wean markets off the cheap and easy money they have provided during the global financial crisis.

Like Ireland, the Portuguese, Spanish and Italian bonds and Lisbon's stock market bucked the wider global move higher as tensions continued to bubble on the eurozone's debt-strained southern fringe.

(Additional reporting Reuters)

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