Tuesday 23 January 2018

UK's FTSE 100 index closes at all-time high

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange. Reuters
Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange. Reuters

European stocks extended a seven-year high as Greece reached a bailout deal and the US Federal Reserve pledged patience on raising interest rates. Greek shares surged.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.6pc to 387.25 at the close of trading, pushing its gains this year to 13pc.

The UK's benchmark FTSE 100 Index closed at an all-time high, climbing 0.5pc to surpass the previous record in 1999.

In Ireland the ISEQ index was down slightly to close at 5,869 and remains around 40pc below 2007 levels, however.

Yesterday the Greek ASE Index soared 9.8pc, following a market holiday on Monday, as euro-area leaders approved a bailout extension for four more months.

European stocks extended gains as Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank will be flexible about the timing of an interest-rate rise even after it changes its forward guidance.

She reiterated in a testimony before the Senate Banking Committee that an increase is unlikely for "at least the next couple" of meetings.

In Dublin Glanbia shares rose 1.6pc to an all-time high of €15.21 early in the day, dropping back to close at 15.16 each. The company is due to report results today. Aer Lingus was up 1.26pc to €2.258pc as the Transport Minister called on IAG to sweeten its €2.50-a-share bid.

Green REIT was up 2.08pc to €1.47 a share after announcing a debut dividend with Hibernia REIT also stronger.

Elsewhere, among stocks that moved on corporate news, BHP Billiton rose 6.2pc. The world's biggest mining company raised its dividend, reported earnings that beat analysts' projections and said it will cut costs.

Finmeccanica dropped 0.9pc as its chief financial officer said the company won't pay a special dividend after selling some units to Hitachi.

Trading was briefly halted in Milan after the shares fell 3.6pc.

Irish Independent

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