Business World

Thursday 18 January 2018

US bank results weigh on sentiment

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Wall Street edged lower yeserday and looked set to book losses for the third straight day as investors weighed earnings from big US banks and President Donald Trump's comments on the strength of the dollar.

In Europe shares were also weaker. The Iseq index of Irish shares was down 0.82pc at 6,692, the FTSE 100 closed down 0.30pc and European shares were generally weaker.

At home, banks were mixed. Bank of Ireland was among the decliners, down 1.65pc to 23.8 cents a share, AIB shares were flat at €5.05 each and PTSB shares closed up.

Analysts at ABN expect increased bond issuance out of AIB and Bank of Ireland's new holdco structures, which are being introduced to meet EU rules.

ABN expects issuance of roughly €6.5b from AIB and €6bn from Bank of Ireland this year. Much of the debt will be to replace existing bonds. Wells Fargo's shares fell 2pc, pulling down the S&P 500 and the financial sector, after the bank reported a big drop in mortgage banking revenue.

Berkshire Hathaway's disclosure on Wednesday that it had cut its stake in the bank also weighed on the stock.

JPMorgan and Citigroup also slipped, despite reporting better-than-expected quarterly profits.

Bank stocks have retreated after a strong rally as investors fret over lofty valuations amid questions about Donald Trump's ability to make good on his promises of tax cuts and simpler regulations after failing to get a healthcare bill passed in recent weeks.

The S&P 500 financial index slipped 0.3pc, setting it up for the fifth straight day of losses.

Irish Independent

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