Monday 11 December 2017

Robust US data helps to soothe market nerves

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

IRISH stocks were up yesterday afternoon as indexes around the world saw a second day of gains, lifted by robust US economic data and supportive signals from Europe's central banks.

The ISEQ Overall Index had jumped 1.35pc or 53.33 points to 3913.63 by mid-afternoon, building on Tuesday's gains after a Monday slump that saw just one share price rise.

Twenty three of the 44 companies listed on the Irish exchange rose while four fell and 17 remained static.

The biggest gains of the afternoon went to Dublin-based internet technology business Zamano, up 14.3pc to 8c. Ormonde Mining and Providence Resources did well, up 9pc and 6.4pc to 6c and €6.65 respectively.

INM jumped 5pc, paring gains of as much as 10pc earlier in the day. It was a similarly good day for banks. AIB gained 6pc to 6c and Bank of Ireland grew 4pc to 16c.

Ryanair gained another 2.4pc, reversing losses experienced earlier this week. Aer Lingus, in contrast, fell 1pc to €1.53. This newspaper reported yesterday that the Irish government has asked the UK Competition Authority to force Ryanair to sell its entire 29.8pc stake in the carrier.

Food companies also fell; Total Produce slipped 0.73pc to 68c while baked goods supplier Aryzta slipped 0.58pc to €43.15.

In the rest of the world, nerves were soothed by the European Central Bank and Bank of England's announcement that, unlike the US Fed, they remained in full support mode.

Investors have been jumpy about a possible reduction of the US government's bond-buying programme, prompting large sell-offs over the past few weeks.

"At this point in time, having seen a incredibly violent sell-off in the treasury markets that took everything with it, there is a certain amount of settling back going on," said Societe Generale strategist Kit Juckes.

"I'm not sure we are done with position adjustment yet though. We are not even done with month-end (adjustments) properly, so I wouldn't declare this as anything more than things are looking a little bit quieter."

EUROPE

National indices were up in all of the western European markets open yesterday.

The composite Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 1.6pc to 284.05 in afternoon trading, on course for its biggest two-day jump since April.

The gauge has still slumped 8.6pc since late May. The FTSE 100 rose 0.92pc to 6,157.94, while France's CAC 40 Index jumped 1.88pc and German's DAX was up 1.67pc.

In the UK, insurer Direct Line climbed 4.3pc to £2.28, as it said it may cut about 2,000 jobs to further reduce costs to £1bn by next year.

Irish Independent

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