US markets hit by further volatility after day of swings

Dublin traders say investors looking for ‘buying opportunity’ as stocks rise

US stocks remained on an unsteady footing as the bout of volatility that’s gripped global financial markets persisted amid signs that the rise in treasury yields has yet to run its course.

Stocks swung between gains and losses throughout the session before ending lower after heavy selling in the final 15 minutes of trading.

Earlier, European markets, including Dublin, enjoyed a recovery.


Traders in Dublin declared that it was “up, up, up” on Wednesday. They said investors’ belief that previous selling was overdone drove the near universal rise in stocks. “People look for a buying opportunity and they are seeing this as a buying opportunity,” said one.


Smurfit Kappa fell 1.29 per cent to €27.64 after reporting a 12 per cent drop in 2017 profits to €576 million on the back of once-off increases in finance costs and restructuring.

Kingspan was one of the star performers of both the Dublin market and its industry generally. Shares in the Cavan-based group surged 3.5 per cent to €36.64.

CRH gained 1.81 per cent to €28.10. Housebuilder Glenveagh added 2.39 per cent to €1.20. Rival Cairn Homes added 1.08 per cent to €1.87.

Real-estate investor Green Reit rose 1.97 per cent to €1.55 while landlord Ires Reit gained 1.14 per cent to €1.426.


Irish explorer Tullow Oil climbed 1.36 per cent to 186p after reporting an €18 million operating profit, beating analysts' forecasts of a near €100 million loss.

Grafton, the Irish-headquartered builders' merchant and DIY specialist, advanced 2.21 per cent to 762p as the construction sector generally performed well in London.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 1.9 per cent at 7,279.42 points at its close, in line with a bounce across other European bourses. However, investors were still cautious given that the FTSE dropped 2.6 per cent on Tuesday, its sixth straight session of declines.

Old Mutual, HSBC, Barclays, Prudential and Lloyds rose between 1.7 per cent to as much as 5.4 per cent.

Investment trust Scottish Mortgage was the top riser, up 6.7 per cent. Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell also contributed to lifting the index, both rising around 2 per cent.


Company results helped bolster European indices. Hexagon soared 10.8 per cent to lead gainers on the STOXX after the Swedish industrial technology company reported fourth-quarter core earnings ahead of analyst forecasts.

Statoil gained 4.6 per cent. The Norwegian oil producer said it would raise its dividend after beating fourth-quarter earnings forecasts, helped by higher oil prices.

Air France KLM fell 1.32 per cent to €11.55 after a mixed day for airlines. ABN Amro fell 3.4 per cent.


US stocks ran out of steam after an early surge, in a sign that investors are still spooked by the market’s recent retreat and wary more fallout is to come.

In an up-and-down session, the benchmark S&P 500 faded at the close after trading higher for much of the afternoon, following two days of big moves, including its largest single-day percentage loss in more than six years on Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 19.42 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 24,893.35, the S&P 500 lost 13.48 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 2,681.66 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 63.9 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 7,051.98.

Technology shares fell 1.4 per cent, with Apple down 2.1 per cent, while energy dropped 1.7 per cent as oil prices slumped.

Wynn Resorts climbed 8.6 per cent after casino mogul Steve Wynn resigned as the chief executive following sexual misconduct allegations.

Snapchat owner Snap soared 47.6 per cent after it reported surging growth in users and revenue in its latest quarter. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas