Thursday 23 November 2017

Poor end to what had been promising week for ISEQ


John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Things didn't quite turn out as expected yesterday, making for a pretty grim end to the week for western markets.

As investors eagerly awaited non-farm payroll data from the US, the received wisdom was that somewhere in the region of 100,000 jobs would have been added in the country's economy during June.

That would be more than the 54,000 or so added in May, but still well below the 200,000 added at the beginning of the year. In the event, it turned out that even the cautious optimism that 100,000 jobs would have been added last month was entirely misplaced.

Havoc ensued as the data showed that just 18,000 jobs had been added to the non-farm payroll in June, reigniting fears that the US economy is desperately struggling to muster any semblance of recovery.

And to rub salt into the wound, the US Department of Labour revised down the May figure to just 25,000. The unemployment rate in the US now stands at 9.2pc.

Naturally enough, the figures distressed European markets.

The ISEQ Overall Index, which was already in the red, dipped further, but recovered slightly just before the close. It finished the session 0.9pc, or 27.53 points, lower at 2,940.64.

It was a disappointing end to a week where the index had topped 3,000 points, breaching the psychological barrier for the first time in two months.


There was little good news for shareholders in the country's biggest company, CRH. It tanked 4.3pc, or 65 cent, to finish at €14.21.

The other main faller was Grafton Group. The building materials firm warned that the trading environment in its key markets was proving slow to recover. The stock slumped, falling 8.7pc to close at €3.04.

Aer Lingus was also in the red, declining 3.2pc, or 2.3 cent, to 69 cent, while Kenmare Resources reversed some of Thursday's decline and surged 14.6pc to 71.5 cent.

National benchmark indices dropped in all but one western European country yesterday. The UK's FTSE 100 Index slid 1.1pc, France's CAC 40 lost 1.7pc and Germany's DAX declined 0.9pc. Italy's FTSE MIB fell 3.5pc to its lowest level in a year.

BSkyB tumbled 7.6pc to £7.50 (€8.43), its biggest drop since October 2008, after News Corporation decided to close the 'News of the World' following the hacking scandal. Adecco, the world's largest supplier of temporary workers, dropped 3.7pc to 53.60 Swiss francs.

Irish Independent

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