Business World

Monday 19 February 2018

US shares up on tax breakthrough hopes

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) as a screen displays the Dow Jones Industrial Average as it crosses 24,000, in New York. Photo: Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) as a screen displays the Dow Jones Industrial Average as it crosses 24,000, in New York. Photo: Reuters

Reuters

Sharp gains in the United States drove stocks higher despite a rout in emerging markets, while crude oil prices were volatile as Opec met in Vienna to discuss an extension to its supply-cap deal.

The dollar slipped against the euro and other major currencies except the yen, despite US data that showed a rise in inflation and a decline in initial jobless claims.

The data reinforced already strong bets that the Federal Reserve will raise rates next month and several more times in 2018. Chances of passage of a Senate tax overhaul bill rose with the endorsement of Senator John McCain. US stocks, which opened higher as Wednesday's sell-off in technology and other high-flying stocks reversed, took a further leg higher after McCain's endorsement.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 289.79 points, or 1.21pc, to 24,230.47, the S&P 500 gained 25.95 points, or 0.99pc, to 2,652.02 and the Nasdaq Composite added 57.71 points, or 0.85pc, to 6,882.10. In contrast the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.46pc and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.24pc. In Dublin the Iseq was weaker at 6,872.58.

Britain's index of leading shares lagged behind their European peers for a second session yesterday, as it remained under pressure from a rising sterling buoyed by Brexit talks optimism.

Britain's blue chip FTSE 100 index closed down 0.9pc lower at 7,326.67 points and ended November with a 2.1pc loss, its worst since June, as the pound hit a two-month high.

Shares in newspaper publisher Daily Mail and General Trust plummeted close to 24pc, the biggest one-day drop in more than 20 years after the group reported a 13pc drop in profit and a weak outlook.

Irish Independent

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