Irish shares inch up despite gloom
IRISH shares inched up yesterday despite declines elsewhere and a gloomy report on the economy which saw the Central Bank cut growth forecasts.
The benchmark ISEQ closed up 7 points, or 0.3pc, at 2669.06 points during a directionless session. National benchmark indexes fell in 14 of the other 17 west European markets. Germany's DAX and France's CAC retreated 1.2pc while the UK's FTSE 100 slipped 0.7pc. Greek bank shares enjoyed a good day in Athens on hopes the country's deficit will be much smaller next year.
In Dublin, Aer Lingus moved well beyond the €1 level, up 0.5pc to €1.05 after the airline made acting chief financial officer Andrew Macfarlane permanent. Ryanair rose 0.5pc to 3.86.
Providence Resources closed up 2pc at €2 after the company agreed an option with Sosina Exploration, which will see it acquire a 50pc stake in Providence's Hook Head oil discovery. In return, Sosina will drill an appraisal well there next year.
Elsewhere in Europe, shares declined for a sixth day, the longest stretch of losses since January 2009, as reports on US home sales and factory orders failed to ease concern about the world's largest economy.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed down 0.5pc at its the lowest level since August in London yesterday. The gauge fell the most in three months last week amid concern the economy is slowing.
"There's concern still about an overhang, about a double dip in the US," said Philip Poole, the London-based global head of macro and investment strategy at HSBC Global.
The markets drew consol- ation from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao who said his country will address "structural problems" and stabilise its economy by increasing domestic demand.
"The data coming from China is positive, but it's not enough to ease concern on European and US markets," said Andreas Lipkow of MWB Fairtrade Wertpapierhandelsbank. "The kick-off of the earnings season with Alcoa's results should give the market a direction."
Alcoa, the biggest US aluminum producer, is to report third-quarter results on Friday.
Preferred shares of Volkswagen, Europe's largest carmaker, slid 3.6pc, while Porsche shares sank 4.3pc. Daimler, the world's second biggest maker of luxury cars, lost 3.8pc after new car sales in September declined 18pc .
National Bank of Greece, the Greek state's largest lender, climbed 2.5pc as Evolution Securities upgraded the stock to "buy" from "sell."
Greece's budget deficit will narrow to 7pc of economic output in 2011, the Athens government said.
Yara posted the third-largest decline in the Stoxx 600, falling 4.2pc as UBS downgraded the biggest publicly traded nitrogen-fertiliser maker to "neutral" from "buy."