World markets uncertain around US economic stimulus decision

Most traded stocks on Iseq are Smurfit, CRH, Ryanair, C&C and Bank of Ireland

Ryanair attracted buyers because its share price was slightly down. It clo
sed at ¤6.97, up 1.75 per cent. Photograph:Eruc Luke/The Irish Times

Ryanair attracted buyers because its share price was slightly down. It clo a sed at ¤6.97, up 1.75 per cent. Photograph:Eruc Luke/The Irish Times


Uncertainty around US economic stimulus ahead of a key Federal Reserve meeting last night weighed on global markets yesterday. Since late May markets have been struggling to come to terms with the expected pull back in quantitative easing by the US Federal Reserve.

The Iseq Index gained 0.6 per cent, up 12.5 points to end the day on 3943.42.

The most traded stocks were Smurfit, CRH, Ryanair, C&C and Bank of Ireland. Smurfit Kappa finished strong at €12.75, up 1.63 per cent after struggling for the last few weeks, according to one stockbroker.

Ryanair also attracted buyers because its share price was slightly down; it closed at €6.97, up 1.75 per cent. Drinks group C&C recovered closing at €4.30, up 1.06 per cent. Index heavyweight CRH finished slightly down by 0.23 per cent at €15.51. Bank of Ireland was the most notable faller of the day after trading most of the day around 16 cent. It finished at €0.15, down 1.27 per cent. Permanent TSB closed at €0.024, down 5.60 per cent. Petroceltic was down 7.46 per cent to €1.80.

UK stocks declined, snapping four days of gains, as investors awaited the outcome of a Federal Reserve policy meeting for signals about when the central bank will scale back stimulus measures.

The FTSE 100 Index fell 25.39 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6,348.82 at the close in London.

BT dropped 1.8 per cent to 313.7 pence after the UK’s biggest fixed-line company said Gavin Patterson, head of its retail division, will replace Mr Livingston as chief executive in September.

Aggreko fell 5.3 per cent to 1,660 pence for the worst performance on the FTSE 100. Evraz slipped 1.7 per cent to 115.3 pence after Aktualne said the steelmaker will stop production at its Czech steel mill later this summer because of low demand.Vodafone declined 1.6 per cent to 181.45 pence after people familiar with the matter said the UK carrier raised its preliminary offer to buy Kabel Deutschland to about €7.5 billion, or €85 a share. The new proposal follows a preliminary bid from Liberty Global this week that was said to be valued at the same price.

European shares ended slightly lower in thin trading volumes, as investors awaited clues from the US Federal Reserve about whether or not it will soon start to wind down its stimulus measures. The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index ended 0.6 per cent lower, at 2,683.98. Germany’s DAX lost 0.4 per cent, while France’s CAC 40 slid 0.6 percent.

Nokia was among the biggest gainers, up 3.4 per cent after an executive from China’s Huawei Technologies said the firm was “open-minded” about the possibility of buying the Finnish mobile phone group. Huawei later clarified it had no plans for an acquisition.

Telecom gear maker Alcatel-Lucent surged 6.2 per cent after it unveiled an ambitious restructuring plan. Fomento de Construcciones and Contratas tumbled 5.2 per cent to €7.43 in Madrid after the Spanish construction company’s Austrian unit, Alpine Holding, failed to reach a refinancing agreement with creditors.

US stocks dipped during trading yesterday as investors awaited a Federal Reserve statement that could provide clues about the central bank’s future stimulus efforts, a key to the market’s current rally.

Wireless provider Sprint Nextel was the most heavily traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange, falling 2.7 per cent to $7.12. Shares of Adobe Systems rose 6.8 per cent to $46.31 a day after the maker of Photoshop and Acrobat software reported a higher-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit. FedEx shares were up 2.4 per cent to $101.85 after it reported higher quarterly profit than expected as its ground shipment business improved and jet fuel prices dropped.