Shares in Irish-Swiss food group Aryzta fell 2.3pc in Zurich by mid-afternoon yesterday as investors took an opportunity to cash in on Tuesday’s share surge after it announced the departure of chief executive Owen Killian and a review of its joint investment strategy. Its cfo is also leaving.
And world stocks rose to a whisker off all-time highs on Wednesday and the dollar rose for the eleventh straight day following Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s flagging of a possible interest rate rise next month.
The dollar notched up its longest winning streak in almost five years after Ms Yellen said on Tuesday that the Fed would probably need to raise rates at an upcoming meeting and that delaying could leave the central bank’s policymaking committee behind the curve.
Propelled by record highs on Wall Street, MSCI’s benchmark global equity index rose 0.25pc to 442.4 points, its highest since May 2015 and two points off its record high.
It has not fallen for six sessions, its longest such run since last July.
“The simple act of leaving a March hike on the table, given that it had been all but written off by investors, is what triggered such a reaction,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, regarding Ms Yellen’s comments.
Europe’s index of leading 300 stocks rose nearly 1pc in early trading to its highest level since December 2015, but by mid-session had settled back to trade up 0.4pc on the day at 1,465 points.
Ireland’s ISEQ Overall Index was 0.12pc higher by the afternoon, at 6,539.26.
Shares in Bank of Ireland were up 3.3pc at 25 cent. Shares in Ires Reit, which released preliminary full-year results yesterday, were just 0.8pc ahead at €1.21.
Miners and exploration minnows were down, while shares in recruitment firm CPL Resources were 3.5pc lower at €5.60.
The UK’s FTSE-100 was 0.37pc higher.
Germany’s DAX was down 0.26pc and France’s CAC-40 was up 0.34pc.
Financials led the way in Europe, with Credit Agricole up more than 3pc after France’s biggest retail bank beat forecasts with a smaller than expected earnings drop in the fourth quarter.
In the US, retail sales rose more than expected in January as households bought electronics and a range of other goods, pointing to sustained domestic demand that should bolster economic growth in the first quarter.
The Commerce Department said retail sales increased 0.4pc last month.
December’s retail sales were revised up to show a 1pc rise instead of the previously reported 0.6pc advance.
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