ISEQ breaks three-day losing run
IRISH shares snapped their three-day losing streak yesterday, as most of the major stocks gained ground.
By the close of trading the ISEQ Overall Index had climbed 0.86pc, or 25.42 points, to 2,980.54. The top-four companies on the index all rose on a day when traders were buying from the opening.
CRH recovered Wednesday's loss, gaining 1.25pc to close at €15.75 after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said the US would keep interest rates low. The United States is a critical market for the company.
Ryanair, the number two stock on the exchange, closed up 1.33pc to €3.58, while Kerry Group claimed 3.55pc to €29.90. Par-baked goods firm Aryzta added 1.6pc to €38.20.
The banks had a difficult day as the market digested an IMS from Bank of Ireland and "catastrophic" losses at building society Irish Nationwide.
Bank of Ireland said conditions had marginally improved but that was outweighed by INBS, which lost €3.3bn for 2010 with 22pc of residential mortgages held by the lender now in arrears.
That sent Bank of Ireland down 2.26pc to 22c, while Irish Life and Permanent fell 6.4pc. Allied Irish Banks was little changed.
Elsewhere, national benchmark indices climbed in 16 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 Index gained 0.6pc, while Germany's DAX Index rallied 0.8pc. France's CAC 40 Index rose 1.3pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.7pc.
"The last 24 hours have certainly seen the 'risk on' switch flicked," said Ben Potter, a market strategist at IG Markets in Melbourne. "For the first time in a long while, participants are starting to talk about strong demand fundamentals for commodities, which is an encouraging sign. It feels like sentiment has definitely improved."
In London, Glencore was unchanged at 530p in its first day on the London Stock Exchange, erasing a gain of as much as 3.8pc after selling $10bn (€6.9bn) of stock in an initial public offering. Demand for the stock overcame a decline in oil, nickel and aluminum prices. The world's largest commodities trader had sold its shares at 530p apiece.
"Today is all about Glencore," said Simon Maughan, co-head of European equities at MF Global.
BP, Europe's second-largest oil company by sales, climbed 1.6pc. BofA Merrill Lynch upgraded the shares to "buy" from "neutral".
Barclays rose 2.5pc after Berenberg Bank increased its rating on the stock to "buy" from "hold". Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc gained 1.1pc. Exane BNP Paribas initiated coverage of both banks with an "outperform" rating.
ITV jumped 4pc as Bernsteins raised its recommendation to "outperform" from "market perform".