Sunday 23 September 2018

Markets stall after record-breaking run

Bundles of banknotes of US Dollar are pictured at a currency exchange shop in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Photo: Reuters
Bundles of banknotes of US Dollar are pictured at a currency exchange shop in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Photo: Reuters

Ellie Donnelly and agencies

World stock markets dipped yesterday, pausing after notching a string of record highs, as a decline in Boeing and healthcare names weighed on US equities.

Shares on Wall Street took a breather after the strongest performance of the year for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the benchmark S&P 500 saw the indexes close above 26,000 and 2,800, respectively, for the first time.

European shares closed modestly higher, led by a rise in cyclical stocks.

Equities were held in check by a 2.64pc drop in aerospace company Boeing, up to now the best-performing Dow component so far the year. Declines in Merck, down 1.85pc and Johnson & Johnson also pulled the healthcare sector lower.

Mixed economic reports also gave investors reason for pause as weekly initial jobless claims hit a 45-year low but US homebuilding recorded its biggest drop in just over a year.

Investors have drawn inspiration from an improving global economy and the onset of the US corporate earnings season in the recent run higher. Earnings growth for the quarter is forecast at 12.2pc, according to Thomson Reuters data through Wednesday morning.

Britain's blue-chip index fell yesterday, led lower by utilities and a decline for Primark owner Associated British Foods after warning that profit at its sugar business would fall more than previously forecast.

The FTSE ended 0.3pc down at 7,700.96 points and the mid-cap index finished with a 0.5pc fall.

In Dublin, the Iseq was higher at 7,073.37. Among the Irish movers, Aryzta continued a recent run of volatility closing up 3.89pc at €31.748 a share. CRH closed down 1.26pc and Ryanair was up 2.67pc after UK pilots accepted a pay deal.

Irish Independent

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