Business World

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Stocks brave US budget fears

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

ANOTHER bout of uncertainty about the US debt ceiling wasn't enough to unsettle investors, after new figures showed US jobless claims fell last week when economists had expected a rise.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was unchanged at 313.02 at the close of trading. The gauge has dropped 0.4pc so far this week amid concern that US politicians will fail to approve a federal budget for the new financial year.

"Markets clearly hate uncertainty and the US debt ceiling coupled with when the Fed is going to taper are clearly two areas of concern," said Stephane Ekolo, chief European strategist at Market Securities in London.

"Given the good run the markets have experienced, it is normal to pause a little."

Ireland's ISEQ Overall Index was one of the European bourses that slipped into the red yesterday, albeit marginally. It shed just 14.52 points, or 0.34pc, to close the session at 4,258.70.

There were few shares that put in any solid performance, although mining firm Kenmare Resources advanced 1.2pc to just over 33 cent.

There was more action on the downside. Shares in investment firm TVC – which has a significant stake in UTV – tumbled almost 10pc to 56 cent. The stock exchange was informed that TVC director John Treacy had bought one million shares in the company at 56 cent each on Tuesday. Shares in technology minnow Zamano fell 3.2pc to 15 cent after the company, which provides services including premium rate text messages across Europe, said Irish sales slumped 42pc in the first half of the year due to new regulations.

Food companies also saw shares decline. Glanbia dropped 2pc, or 20 cent, to €9.71, while Kerry fell 1.2pc, or 55 cent, to €45.25.

Ryanair declined 1.2pc to €6.41, while financial services group IFG lost 2.2pc to €1.35.

National benchmark indices advanced in 10 of the 18 western-European markets.

The UK's FTSE 100 rose 0.2pc, Germany's DAX fell less than 0.1pc and France's CAC 40 Index dropped 0.2pc.

Irish Independent

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