ISEQ breaks 3,100 level for first time in 18 months
THE ISEQ closed a week of steady gains on a high, breaking the 3,100 level for the first time in nearly 18 months as fears of catastrophe in Europe faded and the US showed real signs of a rebound.
The index rose 69.50 points to 3,135.32. European stocks also posted the biggest weekly gain this year, sending the Stoxx Europe 600 Index to its highest level in six months, as manufacturing increased globally and the US jobless rate fell to its lowest in three years.
National benchmark indexes climbed in every western-European market yesterday except Greece. The UK's FTSE 100 Index added 1.8pc after a report showed that services industries in the UK unexpectedly increased last month.
The measure of activity rose to 56 in January from 54 in December, according to a statement from Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. France's CAC 40 Index gained 1.5pc and Germany's DAX Index advanced 1.7pc.
US stocks surged, extending the best start to a year for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index since 1989, and Treasuries slid as better-than-forecast growth in US jobs bolstered optimism in the economy. Lead, aluminum and cotton led commodities higher, while gold, silver and natural gas fell.
The world's biggest cement firm, Cemex, has reported fourth-quarter 2011 EBITDA (core earnings) of $542m, comfortably beating estimates of $515m. Its peer, Ireland's CRH, saw shares climb 45c to €15.78.
Ryanair said it has stepped in to fill up the vacuum left by the grounding of Hungary's Malev and is setting up a major hub there in the next few weeks, using up some of the spare capacity aircraft it sidelined because of high fuel costs. Shares in the airline rose 9c to €4.35. Aer Lingus was flat at €0.89.
Shares in Irish-Swiss bakers, Aryzta, jumped 35c to €36.00. US in-store bread sales delivered growth of 2.9pc, Davy noted. Artisan breads accounted for one-third of in-store bread sales in the US for the 52 weeks ended October 2011.
In the international markets, Daimler AG, the carmaker that makes 24pc of its sales in the US, climbed 3.1pc to €45.46 following the US jobs report.
Volvo AB rose 4.4pc to 94.70 kronor after the world's second largest truckmaker reported fourth-quarter earnings before interest and taxes that increased 26pc to 6.96bn kronor ($1.04bn) from 5.52bn kronor a year earlier.