World

Saturday 2 August 2014

Good news fails to lift shares as ISEQ ends week flat

Peter Flanagan

Published 19/01/2013|05:00

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China's economy is slowing but still doing better than expected

IRISH shares were little changed yesterday, despite encouraging data from China and good news from the US and domestically.

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By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index had slid 0.22pc, or 7.8 points, to close at 3,479.69. The loss meant the index ended the week almost flat, having opened on Monday at 3,481.5.

The market was a difficult one yesterday. Despite a strong opening, it soon trended down for the rest of the session and closed near to its lowest point of the day.

In percentage terms, Kenmare was one of the worst-performing stocks on the day. The company fell 5.1pc to 41c. Shares in the company are down more than 35pc in the past year.

Elan fell again. The pharmaceuticals firm lost 1.6pc to close at €7.47. Kingspan fell 1.3pc to €8.67 and was cut to neutral by analysts at Exane BNP Paribas.

Ryanair dropped 0.9pc to €5.29. HSBC cut the budget carrier to 'underweight' from neutral and upgraded its rival EasyJet.

On the other side of the board, CRH added 1pc to €14.96. The construction-materials giant was raised to 'neutral' by Exane.

Elsewhere, European stocks were little changed as China's economy accelerated for the first time in two years and a gauge of US consumer confidence unexpectedly declined.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 0.1pc. National benchmark indices declined in 13 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 increased 0.4pc and France's CAC 40 retreated 0.1pc. Germany's DAX slid 0.4pc.

China's gross domestic product advanced 7.9pc in the fourth quarter from a year earlier. That compared with the median economists' estimate of 7.8pc.

"The rebound in European equities earlier this month was not surprising, but it's too much too soon," said Pierre Mouton, a fund manager at Notz Stucki in Geneva. "I'm definitely positive on European equities but the region's problems have not faded away yet."

Johnson Matthey rallied 2.7pc. Goldman Sachs added the company, which makes a third of all auto-catalysts, to its "conviction-buy" list, saying most of the company's near-term headwinds had been priced into the market.

BA parent IAG fell 1.6pc, paring yesterday's 4.3pc rally. London's Heathrow airport, the busiest in Europe, cancelled 347 flights and said other services would be delayed following heavy snowfalls.

Irish Independent

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