5.30pm Markets Update

Updated: Thursday 25 August 2016 17.36

Wall Street see-sawed between small gains and small losses in early afternoon trade as two more Federal Reserve officials said the case for an interest rate hike was strengthening.

The Dow Jones was down marginally (18 points or 0.1%) to 18,464 at lunchtime while the Nasdaq made marginal gains (2.5 points, 0.05%) to 5,220.

In London, the FTSE mirrored the losing streak across all the main European indices. It was down 19 points (0.3%) to 6,817. The Dax in Frankfurt was down 93 points (0.9%) to 10,530. The CAC in Paris was 29 points (0.7%) lower at 4,407.

In Dublin, the ISEQ was 11 points (0.2%) lower at 6,118. AIB gained 45 cent (7.4%) to close at €6.50. Hotelworld was up 32 cent (16.5%) to €2.26. IFG Group was down 24 cent (11%) to €1.97 while Dalata Hotel Group was 20 cent (4.5%) lower at €4.33.

Earlier in Asia, Hong Kong stocks closed flat, with energy firms again hit by weak oil prices, while traders moved cautiously ahead of a much-anticipated speech by Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen at the end of the week.

The Hang Seng Index ended marginally higher, edging up 6.09 points to 22,826.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.57%, or 17.55 points while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, lost 0.55%, or 11.26 points, to 2,019.

Meanwhile, Tokyo shares closed lower with energy firms hit by a further drop in oil prices, while traders await a key speech by the head of the Federal Reserve at the end of the week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.25%, or 41.35 points, to end at 16,555.