Ir­ish shares braced for volatile trading

Brexit fear bites, writes Saman­tha Mc­caugh­ren

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Ir­ish stock mar­ket is braced for an­other week of volatile trading, with con­cerns over con­tin­ued Brexit uncer­tainty hit­ting shares in re­cent days. While trading im­proved on Fri­day, bro­kers said that even stocks with lit­tle or no Brexit ex­po­sure had been hit by last week’s sell.

One stock mar­ket source said last week’s trading was rem­i­nis­cent of the volatil­ity last seen in 2007 just be­fore the eco­nomic crash. How­ever, a num­ber of traders said they be­lieved there is now sig­nif­i­cant value in the Ir­ish mar­ket given that many stock are now 30pc or 40pc off their 2018 peaks.

Among those which saw some re­cov­ery on Fri­day were CRH, Smur­fit Kappa and Kingspan.

Last week, around €3.4bn was the value of stocks on the Ir­ish Stock Exchange and the in­dex has been on a down­ward slide since Septem­ber.

While Ir­ish shares are be­ing hit by grow­ing con­cerns that Bri­tish Prime Minister Theresa May will lose a vote this week on her Brexit deal, there has also been mas­sive in­ter­na­tional volatil­ity.

On Fri­day, US stocks plunged, with tech­nol­ogy shares bear­ing the worst of the sell­ing as the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion pressed its trade war with China.

In ad­di­tion, the lat­est batch of eco­nomic data added to concern that growth has peaked. Oil surged af­ter Opec agreed to cut out­put.

Trade re­mained in fo­cus, with in­vestors mon­i­tor­ing a court ap­pear­ance by a Huawei ex­ec­u­tive whose ar­rest was seen as a blow to the China-us trade truce. The Fed­eral Re­serve’s Lael Brainard struck a hawk­ish tone in com­ments at a con­fer­ence.

US stocks had opened higher af­ter the Novem­ber jobs re­port showed mod­er­a­tion in the labour mar­ket, giv­ing suc­cour to pro­po­nents for a slower pace of Fed in­ter­est-rate in­creases. Trea­suries fluc­tu­ated on the data be­fore set­tling higher as risk aver­sion in­creased. The dol­lar re­mained lower.

In Europe, stocks re­bounded from the worst day in more than two years, while Asian shares posted mod­est gains as in­vestors sought to end a bruis­ing week on a more up­beat note. Ital­ian debt climbed as Euro­pean bonds largely drifted. Ad­di­tional re­port­ing Bloomberg

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