3pm Markets Update

Updated: Wednesday 01 October 2014 15.03

US stocks opened lower today on Wall Street despite a solid report on private sector job growth as the market awaited other key economic news.

US private-sector employment increased by 213,000 in September from August, according to new figures from payroll company ADP. 

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones stood at 17,004, down 38 points (0.2%), while the broad-based S&P 500 fell six points (0.29%) to trade at 1,966 and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite index declined 13 points (0.29%) to stand at 4,480.

European stocks began the fourth quarter on a negative note, as lacklustre economic data and civil unrest in Hong Kong kept investors cautious before a European Central Bank meeting tomorrow. London's FTSE fell 52 points (0.8%) to stand at 6,571 by 3pm, while the Paris CAC was down 43 points (0.9%) to 4,373 and the Frankfurt DAX lost 55 points (0.5%) to trade at 9,419.

Dublin's ISEQ index was also weaker this afternoon, dropping by 36 points (0.7%) to stand at 4,839. Shares in Smurfit Kappa fell by 1.7% to €17.06, while Fyffes lost 1.7% to trade at €1.06 and Providence Resources slumped 3.9% to €1.60. The airline stocks were also weaker with Ryanair down 1.9% to €7.38 while Aer Lingus dipped 0.7% to €1.41. 

Asian shares closed with losses in earlier trade as continued civil unrest in Hong Kong sapped confidence. Tokyo's Nikkei index closed 91 points (0.5%) lower at 16,082, while markets in Hong Kong are closed for a national holiday.