Business World

Sunday 15 December 2019

Markets fall on Brexit and Trump fears

Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

Investors ditched stocks and sold sterling as they grew increasingly wary about Brexit and incoming US President Trump's unpredictability.

They sought shelter in gold and the Japanese yen as appetite for risky assets was curbed.

But the International Monetary Fund said the US economy would grow faster than previously expected in 2017 and 2018 based on the incoming Trump administration's tax and spending plans.

US markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Day holiday, crimping market activity and potentially exacerbating price moves.

The price of gold, a frequently sought haven for investors in uncertain times, hit its highest level since November.

"The market is taking a reality check from Trump euphoria, equity markets are moving sideways, the dollar has steadied and bond yields are down, allowing gold to recover," Julius Baer commodities analyst Carsten Menke said.

But the eye-catching mover was Britain's pound, a day before a speech by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index ended the session 1.1pc lower at 6,582.48.

Movers on the day included Bank of Ireland, which was down as much as 4pc to under 24 cent.

Shares in Permanent TSB closed down 1.8pc at €2.70.

Life sciences investment firm Malin was up 4pc at €13.00 after it announced that it will take a 33pc stake in a UK biopharma start-up.

Shares in fruit distribution firm Fyffes were steady at €2.24 as shareholders approved its acquisition by Sumitomo for €751m. The UK's FTSE-100 was down 0.15pc. Germany's DAX was 0.64pc lower. France's CAC-40 was down 0.82pc.


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