Iseq up but lags behind Europe as worst year since 2010 closes
The Iseq closed 0.12pc higher at 6,517 on a half day of trade yesterday - but the exchange overall has had its worst year since 2010.
European stocks inched lower on the final trading day of 2017, scoring their strongest year of gains since 2013 thanks to a surge among tech stocks and a robust resources sector.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.1pc in thin volumes on the day, while Eurozone blue chips dipped 0.5pc. Britain's FTSE 100 ended at a new record high, up 0.9pc in a half-day of trading for the index, while Italian equities declined 1.2pc at a 16-week low after the president dissolved parliament on Thursday and an election day was scheduled for March 4.
Overall 2017 has been a positive year for European stocks, fuelled by strong company earnings, a supportive economic backdrop and an absence of major political upsets.
Meanwhile, losses in technology and financial stocks weighed on Wall Street on the last trading day of 2017, in what has been a banner year for US shares. Major indexes hit a series of record highs in 2017, riding on strong economic growth, solid corporate earnings and low interest rates.
The benchmark S&P 500 has surged 20pc this year, the blue-chip Dow more than 25pc and tech-heavy Nasdaq about 29pc, setting them up for their best performances since 2013.
The market has also shown surprising strength despite tensions in North Korea and political upheavals in Washington. The S&P has closed below 1pc only four times this year.