Tuesday 24 October 2017

Stocks fall on eve of Fed's bond report

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Investors were anxiously awaiting the start of a US Federal Reserve board meeting yesterday for an update on whether it will begin slowing down its $85bn (€62bn) worth of monthly bond purchases.

That meeting concludes today.

European stocks fell despite new figures showing German investor confidence rose for the fifth month in a row in December.

The investor index, which tries to predict economic activity six months in advance, rose from 54.6 in November to 62, much higher than had been expected. A figure above 50 is positive, a figure below 50 is negative.

"We continue to see some market correction potential before we re-enter into a positive market environment that is fundamentally supported," said Anja Hochberg, the chief investment officer for Europe and Switzerland at Credit Suisse in Zurich.

MOMENTUM

"Market participants are eagerly awaiting this week's Fed decision and the accompanying communication regarding tapering and further guidance to make sure people understand that tapering is not tightening," she said.

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index bucked the wider European trend yesterday as it closed 0.75pc, or 32.74 points, higher at 4,409.58.

Among the movers was Green REIT, the property investment vehicle, which added 7.1pc to €1.35.

Other stocks with positive momentum included ferry group ICG. It advanced 6.1pc to €26. Tourism Ireland said yesterday that tourist numbers to the island of Ireland this year climbed 7pc.

IFG rose 1.5pc to €1.67. The company announced that its CEO, Mark Bourke, will leave next April. He's been appointed chief financial officer at AIB.

Fallers included dairy group Glanbia, which shed 2.1pc to €10.77, and Providence Resources, which declined 3.2pc to €2.66.

National benchmark indices retreated in 15 of the 18 western European markets yesterday. France's CAC 40 slid 1.2pc, Germany's DAX lost 0.9pc and the UK's FTSE 100 fell 0.6pc.

Irish Independent

Also in Business