Investors jittery ahead of results
IRISH shares moved sideways during a lacklustre session in Dublin yesterday which saw jitters ahead of results for some major companies.
The ISEQ fell just over a point to close at 2668.33 points, or more than 25pc below its 12-month high, which was reached in late April. Trading volumes were low with a bank holiday in the UK and the general lack of interest in shares at present keeping investors away.
The Irish benchmark followed the fortunes of other European indices, which moved between negative and positive territory all day. The Stoxx 600 slipped less than 0.1pc to 251.16 at the 4:30 pm close in London, having swung between gains and losses at least 11 times.
Among those declining in Dublin were UTV, sliding 8pc to €1.38, and Irish Life & Permanent, down 4.3pc at €1.39. Both companies are due to report earnings today. Kerry, which reports results later in the week, fell 0.6pc to €24.60.
Oglesby & Butler shares jumped 20.7pc to 35 following details last week of a bid by businessman Kevin Anderson for the Carlow-based equipment maker.
Nerves were steadied elsewhere by new figures suggesting European confidence in the economic outlook improved to the highest in more than two years this August after surging exports helped the economy expand at the fastest pace in four years in the second quarter.
An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the 16 euro nations rose to 101.8 from a revised 101.1 in July, the European Commission said yesterday. That's the highest since March 2008.
Investors also drew comfort from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's weekend comments that the US central bank "will do all that it can" to ensure a continuation of the economic recovery.
"Sometimes, all markets need are some reassuring words and Bernanke's seem to have done just that," said Ben Potter, an analyst at IG Markets in Melbourne. "Price action following the announcement has been very positive, which is encouraging for further gains."
Big movers in Europe included Zodiac Aerospace, which rallied 10pc, the most since 2003. Safran will make a final decision on whether to table an offer in coming days and is willing to pay a premium of about 35pc, 'La Tribune' reported.
Sanofi climbed 0.7pc after it offered to buy Genzyme for about $18.5bn in cash, taking its bid public after the world's largest maker of medicines for genetic diseases refused to negotiate. Genzyme rejected Sanofi's $69-a-share bid as too low.
Infineon Technologies, Europe's second-largest maker of semiconductors, fell 3.7pc after Intel agreed to buy its wireless unit for about $1.4bn. Rumours had previously suggested Infineon was seeking about $1.9bn for the division.