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ISEQ rebound fizzles on world economy

Wednesday, January 29 17:37:51

The ISEQ lost most of the gains it made in morning trading this afternoon as fears over emerging markets sent global investors running for safety.

The ISEQ was up 1.88 points to 4,723.35.

Global equity markets fell on Wednesday and emerging-market currencies slumped on worries that aggressive interest rates hikes by Turkey and South Africa will not be enough to prop up emerging markets, and as an upcoming policy decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve added to jitters over global investing patterns.

The Central Bank this morning published its latest Quarterly Review, which forecast a GAP growth rate of 2.1pc for this year but warned that State and private debt remains a major drag on the recovery. It forecast that consumer spending will rise by 1pc this year after falling significantly over the past number of years while export levels will grow by 3.5pc after last year's weak 0.3pc growth. Inflation will remain low at just 0.4pc, it forecast. The unemployment rate will fall to 11.9pc compared to 2013's 13.2pc and the 2012 jobless rate of 14.6pc. The review said that further progress in terms of policy implementation across a range of areas is required before Ireland can be considered to have recovered from the crisis fully with the need for further fiscal consolidation, restoring banking soundness and sustaining the rebound in employment growth through improvements in competitiveness essential, it said.

Smurfit Kappa peer, SCA has reported Q4 revenue of SEK22.4bn, missing consensus SEK23.3bn by 4pc. EPS of SEK2.6 came in 2.5pc short of consensus SEK 2.66. However, the key takeaway is that kraftliner volumes were flat yoy in Q413, compared to -2pc in Q313 and -5pc for FY13. This is encouraging given the weakness in kraftliner prices (down E50-60/tonne in H213). Shares in Smurfit Kappa fell 26c to E17.95.