Tuesday 25 September 2018

Shares in gun manufacturers rise

A share trader checks his screens at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
A share trader checks his screens at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

Reuters

All the three major US stock indexes were hovering near record highs yesterday morning, in a strong start to the fourth quarter, boosted by technology and healthcare stocks and after data pointed to underlying strength in the economy.

However, shares of casino operators were lower, while those of gunmakers were higher after a gunman killed at least 50 people in Las Vegas on Sunday in the largest mass shooting in recent US history.

In Europe, Spanish stocks sank after violence surrounding Catalonia's independence referendum fuelled political worries and left Madrid's bourse missing out as European shares hit a three-months high and Wall Street fresh new records.

The pan-European STOXX 600 began the fourth quarter with a 0.5pc gain, boosted by a weaker euro.

But Spain's IBEX fell 1.5pc after Catalans defied a police crackdown to vote for independence in a referendum the Spanish government said was unconstitutional.

Spain's IBEX has been a strong performer among European benchmarks, up 10pc in the year to date, but lost some of its shine leading into the referendum.

Shares in Catalonia-headquartered Banco Sabadell and Caixabank were the worst-performing within the Spanish index, down 4.4 and 4.5pc each.

Eurozone lenders felt some of their Spanish counterparts' pain, and lost 0.7pc.

"There is clearly a 'Catalan effect' for financial shares," said Stephane Barbier de la Serre, a strategist at Makor Capital Markets.

In the longer run, the Catalonian crisis is unlikely to derail the bullish trend of the sector, he said.

He explained that tighter monetary policies would gradually push rates higher, benefiting lenders.

Irish Independent

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