Ir­ish shares lit­tle changed as Euro­pean stocks rise

Irish Independent - Business Week - - NEWS -

EURO­PEAN stocks ad­vanced, as banks re­bounded, while in­vestors weighed the pos­si­bil­ity of the Fed­eral Re­serve in­creas­ing in­ter­est rates sooner than had been ex­pected.

BY mid-af­ter­noon yes­ter­day in Dublin, how­ever, Ir­ish shares were lit­tle changed. The ISEQ Over­all In­dex was down frac­tion­ally by 0.03pc, or 2.12 points, to 6,163.82.

The lead­ers on the Dublin mar­ket in­cluded spe­cial­ity baker Aryzta, which rose 2.6pc to €35,92, while in­su­la­tion group Kingspan in­creased 1pc to €23.51.

On the other side of the board, the laggards in­cluded drinks group C& C, which slipped 0.8pc to €3.91, while pack­ag­ing gi­ant Smur­fit Kappa dropped 1.1pc to €24.

Else­where, the Stoxx Europe 600 In­dex climbed 0.5pc to 336.52 by midafter­noon in Lon­don, after ear­lier slid­ing as much as 0.5pc. Ital­ian lenders led a gauge of bank-re­lated com­pa­nies to the big­gest gain of the 19 in­dus­try groups on the Stoxx 600.

Min­ers fell the most on the eq­uity gauge as met­als prices re­treated.

Ex­pec­ta­tions for the US cen­tral bank to add to last De­cem­ber’s in­ter­est rate in­crease are start­ing to build after higher-thanex­pected con­sumer-price data, with com­ments from Fed pres­i­dents Den­nis Lock­hart and John Wil­liams that at least two rate in­creases may be war­ranted this year also stok­ing spec­u­la­tion of a move.

“The signs of an in­ter­est rate hike in the US are be­ing see­ing as an op­por­tu­nity to add up on Euro­pean banks by those who are un­der in­vested in them,” said Her­bert Perus, head of equities at Raif­feisen Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment in Vi­enna.

“It’s just a small rally and not a ma­jor move. Mar­kets will con­tinue on their side­ways path.”

Euro­pean shares have lost mo­men­tum since an April 20 peak as con­cerns about slow­ing global growth and wor­ries over cen­tral-bank poli­cies resur­faced amid mixed earn­ings re­ports.

The in­dex has gone al­most a month with­out end­ing at least 1 pc higher, sig­nalling a lack of trig­gers to boost shares.

Gold­man Sachs Group has cut its rat­ing on equities to neu­tral, warn­ing that stocks won’t be at­trac­tive un­til they ex­hibit sus­tained earn­ings growth.

The key risks are a slow­down in China, in­creased Euro­pean po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty, fall­ing com­mod­ity prices and changes in the Fed’s in­ter­e­strate cy­cle, ac­cord­ing to a strate­gists’ note.

Mean­while, the pound jumped amid ev­i­dence the cam­paign to keep Bri­tain in­side the Euro­pean Union is ex­tend­ing its lead.

Ster­ling climbed the most this year ver­sus the euro.

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