Business World

Saturday 17 March 2018

US stocks fluctuate after Fed decision

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters

John Mulligan and Reuters

European markets by and large kept their heads above water yesterday as they awaited last night's decision from the US Federal Reserve on whether or not it will raise interest rates for the first time in nine years. The decision to hold steady came after European markets closed.

In the US, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fluctuated as the decision fuelled a debate on the economy's strength.

The rate has been close to zero since the depths of the financial crisis in December 2008.

"It doesn't seem like it's taken the market by surprise," Russ Koesterich, a global chief investment strategist at BlackRock, the world's largest money manager, said after the announcement.

"I think what happens now is the market turns its attention to the economic activity and in short order, third-quarter earnings."

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index was one of the bourses that managed to stay in the black. It edged 0.45pc, or 29.42 points higher, to end Thursday's session at 6,521.68. Stocks on the move included, literally, Aer Lingus. Its shares have vanished from both the Dublin and London exchanges.

They were delisted yesterday following its takeover by IAG.

Shares in Ryanair declined 0.8pc to €13.50. Chief executive Michael O'Leary told Reuters that he expects the airline to be operating one in four of all European short-haul flights within the next eight to 10 years. The big mover of the day was insurer FBD, a day after it confirmed a planned €70m investment in the business by Canadian giant Fairfax.

Its shares shot up as much as 12pc before closing 7.4pc ahead at €7.25.

Germany's DAX was barely changed yesterday, while France's CAC-40 gained 0.38pc. The UK's FTSE-100 was 0.68pc lower.

In the UK, shares in online grocery firm Ocado shot up 8.4pc.

Irish Independent

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