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Strong finish for ISEQ in thin markets

Tuesday, December 31 09:25:41

The ISEQ looks like finishing the year on a positive note in thin markets as Europe gears up for a better year economically. The ISEQ stands at 4,547, up 35 points.

AIB Treasury takes a look at markets this morning, such as they are:

It was a quiet start to the week yesterday, with markets still very much in holiday mode ahead of the New Year. Currency markets have been range bound recently and the dollar is opening largely unchanged this morning around the upper part of the $1.37-1.38 range against the euro and 0.835 versus sterling. Another quiet day of trading is in prospect, with very little out by way of new data - US December Chicago PMI and consumer confidence figures are the only releases of note due. Thus, the year is ending is line with the pattern for much of 2013, when currency range trading was quite dominant. The exception was the yen, which fell sharply as the Bank of Japan embarked on an aggressive quantitative easing programme. The yen lost some 17 per cent against the dollar and over 20 per cent versus the euro in 2013. The surprise of the year was the resilience of the euro in the face of a very weak Eurozone economy, two surprise rate cuts and the introduction of forward guidance by the ECB that rates can remain low for a prolonged period of time. The euro was helped, though, by the abating Eurozone debt crisis and the fact that rates are also low everywhere else. The single currency rose by over 5 per cent against both the dollar and 3 per cent against sterling in 2013. Sterling fell sharply at the start of the year but then recovered as the UK economy picked up considerable momentum and monetary policy was put on hold by the BoE. The dollar, meanwhile, was broadly stable over the course of the year. Turning to 2014, we may see more range trading given that interest rates are set to remain very low everywhere. The yen may suffer further losses, though, as the BoJ continues to pursue QE according to AIB Treasury.