Volumes low on cusp of decree from Federal Reserve

Brisk trading early on Wall Street before lag ahead of Thursday’s interest rate decision

Applegreen: service station group’s shares fall another 2 per cent to €4.70

Applegreen: service station group’s shares fall another 2 per cent to €4.70


European shares closed generally higher on Tuesday, helped by a positive start at Wall Street. However, shares at German energy firms RWE and E.ON dropped after a report revealed they needed to set aside more money to shut down nuclear power plants.

Volumes remained thin, however, as investors were reluctant to make big bets before the Federal Reserve decides on Thursday whether to raise US interest rates for the first time since 2006.


The Iseq’s traded up 1 per cent at 6,470 in line with European peers as investors held fire ahead of Thursday’s Fed showdown.

Profit-taking saw shares in service station group Applegreen fall another 2 per cent to €4.70. The group’s shares have been on the slide since it reported positive earnings on Monday.

Among the other main movers was building materials giant CRH which closed up 1.7 per cent at €26.06, tracking wider industry moves.

Packaging group Smurfit Kappa also end up in positive territory, closing up 1.2 per cent at €26.76.

Hotel group Dalata had another good day, trading up 1.6 per cent at €4.39. This follows news it has raised an additional €160 million through a rights issue to fund more hotel purchases.


Britain’s top equity index turned higher in thin trade, as a strong start on Wall Street helped lift mining stocks off their lows, including Glencore, which hit another all-time trough early in the day. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up 0.9 per cent higher at 6,137.60 points, turning higher as Wall Street gained following a climb in retail sales.

The move helped to reverse an early fall in mining stocks. The sector had been down as much as 4.2 per cent, but recovered to trade 0.7 per cent higher, helped as copper bounced off a one-week low.

Mining and commodities trader Glencore slumped almost 8 per cent early on after three leading global thermal coal price benchmarks fell below levels last seen during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. It too recovered all of its losses.


Shares in German energy firms RWE and E.ON fell 3.3 per cent and 6.2 per cent respectively after Spiegel Online said they were short as much as €30 billion of the money they need to set aside to build a safe disposal site for nuclear waste as part of Germany’s exit from nuclear power.

A gauge of energy shares advanced 1.8 per cent as Seadrill and Tullow Oil climbed 4.3 per cent. SABMiller gained 2.8 per cent, leading a gauge of food- and-beverage stocks higher. Electricite de France slipped 3.6 per cent after Morgan Stanley downgraded the shares to underweight, similar to sell.


US stocks rose in cautious trading after data showed retail sales continued to climb in August, strengthening the case for an interest rate increase when the Federal Reserve meets this week.

Analysts said an interest rate hike – the first since 2006 – would remove the uncertainty that has dogged the market for several weeks.

By early evening, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 154.9 points, or 0.95 per cent, at 16,525.86; the S&P 500 was up 15.62 points, or 0.8 per cent, at 1,968.65 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 35.53 points, or 0.74 per cent, at 4,841.29.

All 10 major S&P sectors were up, with the energy index’s 1.15 per cent gain leading the advancers. Brent crude edged above $46 a barrel, supported by the prospect of lower US inventories and production.

Chevron was up 2.3 per cent while Exxon was up about 1 per cent. Shares of Fiat Chrysler were up 2.8 per cent at $14.74 after the United Auto Workers union said it will keep talking with the carmaker to reach a new contract .

– (Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters)