US stocks hold near record lev­els as PTSB slumps

Irish Independent - Business Week - - Front Page -

US stocks held at fresh records in early trad­ing yes­ter­day, with tech­nol­ogy shares pac­ing gains, as in­vestors awaited the next devel­op­ments on trade.

The pound ral­lied af­ter the Euro­pean Union re­vived hopes of a Brexit deal be­fore the UK ex­its the com­mon area in March.

The S&P 500 In­dex churned near 2,900, a level it first breached on Tues­day, as Ama­zon and Al­pha­bet rose fol­low­ing an up­beat re­port from Mor­gan Stan­ley Data that showed strength in the Amer­i­can econ­omy bol­stered the dol­lar. Emerg­ing-mar­ket as­sets were un­der pres­sure and Trea­suries edged higher.

Ear­lier, shares in Ja­pan and Aus­tralia set the pace as the MSCI Asia Pa­cific In­dex climbed, though stocks in China dropped.

The euro weak­ened af­ter the Ital­ian gov­ern­ment was re­ported to be hop­ing for a new pro­gramme of Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank bond pur­chases.

In­vestors ap­pear to lack some con­vic­tion as the North­ern hemi­sphere’s tra­di­tional hol­i­day pe­riod grinds to a close.

US stocks re­main at an all-time high, while the rest of the world has been play­ing a grad­ual game of catch-up. How­ever risks abound, from le­gal threats to Pres­i­dent Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion and tur­moil in emerg­ing mar­kets to on­go­ing trade ten­sion be­tween the world’s ma­jor economies.

“We don’t know where China is on this,” David Ader, chief mar­ket strate­gist at In­forma Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence, said on Bloomberg Tele­vi­sion. “I tend to be more pes­simistic that we are go­ing to come away with trade deals that are go­ing to make ev­ery­body sat­is­fied, but we are trad­ing head­lines, we are trad­ing the sen­si­tiv­ity to those head­lines, so for the mo­ment it looks good.”

Else­where, the Aus­tralian dol­lar dropped with bond yields as ex­pec­ta­tions for cen­tral bank in­ter­est-rate in­creases were slashed. Emerg­ing-mar­ket cur­ren­cies re­treated as Turkey’s lira fell a third day.

In Dublin, the Ir­ish in­dex of Ir­ish shares was up just un­der 0.5pc at 3:18pm yes­ter­day. Aryzta, Cairn Homes and CRH were among the gain­ers, while on the other side of the board Per­ma­nent TSB was down al­most 4pc de­spite an­nounc­ing a boost in pre­tax prof­its yes­ter­day.

Dalata was down 1.3pc af­ter an­nounc­ing it had agreed to spend €100m to buy a ho­tel in Lon­don. (Bloomberg)

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