Business World

Thursday 12 December 2019

Markets wary amid Brexit uncertainty

A South Korean employee of a securities firm reacts in front of a graph showing stock price in Seoul
A South Korean employee of a securities firm reacts in front of a graph showing stock price in Seoul

Sean Duffy

The ISEQ Index of Irish shares was down 0.16 pc yesterday as renewed uncertainty over UK opinion polls caused concern across global markets. The ISEQ had recorded strong gains in the previous session (4.55pc), but was down to 6,253.80 at the close of yesterday's trading.

Stocks in the UK rose for a third straight day with the FTSE 100 gaining 0.36pc after last week's losses. The pound gained 0.3pc on the euro (0.7677) but fell 0.24pc against the dollar to 1.4663.

US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen stated that the uncertain global outlook meant the Fed should maintain a cautious approach to the question of rates rises.

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi reiterated that the ECB is ready to use further tools to aid growth on the continent if necessary.

Mr Draghi noted that uncertainty across the Eurozone was high and that inflation in the area "remains subdued". He said contingency measures were being looked at in the event of a vote for Brexit, but declined to expand further.

European markets made slight gains, reflecting the mixed picture emerging prior to the UK referendum. In Germany, the DAX rose 0.54pc while the CAC in France rose 0.61pc. The Stoxx Europe 50, an index which holds some of UK's largest company rose 1.28pc, while the Euro Stoxx 50 Index was up 0.83 pc.

Shares in Dutch electronics giant Philips rose 0.58pc after the firm announced it had reached a deal to purchase Northern Ireland firm PathXL, a digital pathology company set up by academics at Queens University.

Oil prices fell slightly to $50 a barrel after rumours emerged that the Nigerian government had reached a 30-day cease fire with rebels. The dispute has led to a reduction in oil output in the country.

Irish Independent

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