Monday 21 August 2017

Iseq bucks European trend as markets wait on French outcome

Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

Sean Duffy

Stocks around Europe eased back at the end of the week as investor uncertainty surrounding the outcome of tomorrow's French election took hold. Victory for the far-right candidate could put the European project in jeopardy if her campaign pledges are to be believed.

Mainstay Medical, the Irish-listed firm that focuses on relieving lower back pain, was the day's biggest winner in Dublin. The company gained 6.3pc over the course of the day to boost the share price to €15.10

The ISEQ overall index of Irish shares closed the week up 0.32pc or 21.75, at 6,739.31.

Other notable performers of the day were building company Abbey (+4.2pc), hotel group Datalex (+3.7pc), along with financial firm IFG, which rose 1.9pc.

Oil and gas explorer Petroneft was the day's biggest laggard, with a loss of 6.6pc after global oil prices dipped as concerns about a supply glut resurfaced. Irish food companies also eased back yesterday, with both Glanbia and Kerry Group down by over 1pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed little changed at 378.12 in London. France's CAC 40 Index fell 0.4pc, trimming an earlier drop of as much as 1pc. The latest Opinionway poll showed support for independent candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right contestant Marine Le Pen was stable at 23pc and 22pc, respectively. The European regional benchmark saw a weekly drop of 0.6pc, its steepest since late January.

Danone dropped as much as 2.9pc after reporting the third consecutive quarterly drop in volume and including its $10bn takeover of WhiteWave Foods in its organic growth for the year. European equities are still priced for a slight valuation premium linked to recent acceleration in global-growth momentum, and aren't reflecting an "obvious political risk discount," Deutsche Bank strategists including Sebastian Raedler wrote in a note.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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