Irish stocks climb for fourth day
IRISH shares rose for a fourth day yesterday, after gains among food and American-focused stocks outweighed declines elsewhere on the Dublin market.
By the end of Monday trading the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.86pc, 24.76 points, at 2,906.43.
On a day when most indices in Europe posted modest gains, the ISEQ traded in line with the rest of the continent, moving into positive territory early and staying there for the day.
The food sector was a big winner amid speculation Japan may have to increase imports of foodstuffs while the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant continues.
Origin Enterprises added 4.17pc to reach €3.75 while Glanbia rose 2.35pc to close at €4.35. Kerry Group gained 0.25pc to €26.50 and Greencore increased 0.42pc to €1.19.
Away from food, CRH had an especially strong day, jumping 3.02pc to €16.88 after US consumer spending topped forecasts and the Federal Reserve signalled the world's biggest economy may be strong enough to consider ending stimulus actions.
Pharmaceuticals firm Elan was another firm with a significant US presence that performed strongly, rising 1.26pc to €4.84.
The banks had a varied day as they awaited the results of their stress tests, with suggestions that the lenders could require an additional €26bn bailout.
Allied Irish Banks rose 2.7pc to 19c while Bank of Ireland lost 2.27pc to 26c. Irish Life and Permanent, which has not received any state funds, closed flat.
Elsewhere, national benchmark indexes rose in 11 of the 18 western European markets yesterday. France's CAC 40 Index and the UK's FTSE 100 Index gained 0.1pc, while Germany's DAX Index slid 0.1pc. The Stoxx 600 rose 0.1pc.
"The picture still remains very positive in terms of growth and corporate profitability," said Henk Potts, an equity strategist at Barclays Wealth in London. "The Middle East and Japan are some of the events that have grabbed a lot of the headlines, created a number of distractions and lifted volatility, but in terms of the picture and the recovery of the global economy, they don't appear to have done lasting damage."
Nokia advanced 3.6pc. Goldman Sachs also upgraded the world's biggest maker of mobile phones to "buy", saying the company's "back-to-basics" strategy creates a long-term opportunity for value investors.
Vestas, the world's biggest wind-turbine maker, rallied 4.9pc after Germany's Greens beat Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition in Baden-Wuerttemberg and stopped her Christian Democrats winning control of Rhineland-Palatinate.
In London, Cairn Energy climbed 1.7pc, a two-month high. UBS upgraded the shares to "buy" from "neutral," citing increased prospects of successful oil well drilling prospects.