Shares flat as all eyes on Fed meet­ing

Traders in Europe soothed by prospect of calmer po­lit­i­cal wa­ters in Spain Smur­fit Kappa fell 3.4 per cent in Dublin as Ryanair and Cairn Homes gained 2 per cent

The Irish Times - Business - - MARKETS -

Global shares fluc­tu­ated slightly yes­ter­day ahead of the re­lease of min­utes for the US Fed­eral Re­serve’s pol­icy meet­ing.

Traders in Europe were soothed by the prospect of calmer po­lit­i­cal wa­ters in Spain and its want­away re­gion, Cat­alo­nia.

The Iseq in­dex of Ir­ish shares fin­ished the ses­sion rel­a­tively flat.

DUBLIN

Smur­fit Kappa, the pa­per and pack­ag­ing gi­ant and one of the heav­i­est weighted stocks on the in­dex, fell 3.4 per cent on a read-through from a trad­ing up­date by in­dus­try peer and fel­low FTSE 100 mem­ber Mondi.

Ryanair was up 2 per cent, as the com­pany gained some respite from the tor­rent of neg­a­tive news­flow that has af­flicted it in re­cent weeks.

House­builder Cairn Homes was up 2 per cent, the day after a bud­get that was tar­geted at stim­u­lat­ing ac­tiv­ity in the res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment sec­tor. Its newly listed peer Glen­veagh

Prop­er­ties, how­ever, fell 0.5 per cent.

Hostel­world was one of the big­gest fall­ers, fin­ish­ing the ses­sion down by more than 4 per cent.

LON­DON

Mondi slumped 163p to 1,926p, mak­ing it the worst per­former on the FTSE 100. It came after the pa­per and pack­ag­ing group is­sued a profit warn­ing, even as it clocked an 8 per cent rise in third-quar­ter op­er­at­ing profit to £219 mil­lion. Mer­lin En­ter­tain­ment

edged lower by 4.6p to 463.6p after the com­pany con­firmed that it was not in takeover talks with SeaWorld.

Shares in global re­cruit­ment gi­ant Page plunged 48.4p to 477.1p. The com­pany said Brexit un­cer­tainty con­tin­ued to take its toll on hir­ing, and re­vealed a 7.6 per cent fall in third-quar­ter gross prof­its to £34.9 mil­lion in the UK.

Telford Homes dropped 9.5p to 398.75p after an­nounc­ing that first-half prof­its were likely to be “sig­nif­i­cantly lower” than the com­pa­ra­ble pe­riod in 2016, due to the “pro­grammed tim­ing of devel­op­ment com­ple­tions”. Dunelm shot up 44p to 745p as the home­wares re­tailer re­ported a 24.8 per cent rise in group rev­enue to £247.9 mil­lion, thanks to favourable weather, which helped drive more cus­tomers to its stores.

EUROPE

Spain’s stocks and gov­ern­ment bonds were in de­mand after Cat­alo­nia’s leader stopped short of mak­ing a for­mal dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence, tak­ing the edge off a po­lit­i­cal cri­sis in the euro zone’s fourth big­gest econ­omy. Spain’s bench­mark IBEX closed 1.3 per cent higher. Shares in Span­ish banks

Sabadell and Caix­aBank , which have moved their le­gal bases from Cat­alo­nia to other parts of Spain since the ref­er­en­dum, rose 1.2 per cent and 0.3 per cent re­spec­tively.

Else­where, Ital­ian bank­ing stocks rose 1.4 per cent with traders cit­ing re­lief that new pro­pos­als by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to strengthen the bank­ing sec­tor made no ref­er­ence to stricter pro­vi­sion­ing rules on the ex­ist­ing back­log of bad loans. Top gain­ers were

Banco BPM and UBI Banca, which rose 4.8 and 3.9 per cent re­spec­tively. GEA Group was the big­gest gainer on the Stoxx, up 5.8 per cent, after hedge fund El­liott re­vealed a stake in the Ger­man food-pro­cess­ing ma­chin­ery firm.

US

Seven of the 11 ma­jor S&P in­dexes were lower, led by a 0.36 per cent drop in fi­nan­cial stocks.

Adding to the pres­sure on fi­nan­cials was a slight drop in US trea­sury yields ahead of the re­lease of min­utes from the Fed­eral Re­serve’s Septem­ber meet­ing and the auc­tions of three-year and 10-year notes.

The con­sumer sta­ples in­dex was up 0.23 per cent, led by gains in Wal-Mart and Col­gate-Pal­mo­live, which rose more than 2 per cent after SunTrust up­graded the stock.

Gen­eral Elec­tric slipped about 1 per cent after JPMor­gan said a div­i­dend cut was “in­creas­ingly likely” and cut its price tar­get on the stock. J&J rose 1.5 per cent after Jef­feries up­graded the stock to “buy”, say­ing the com­pany’s pharma di­vi­sion would help its earn­ings growth top an­a­lysts’ es­ti­mates.

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