ISEQ climbs by 29 points to end its two-day losing streak
IRISH shares gained yesterday, snapping a two-day losing streak as traders digested the scale of Tuesday's losses at Allied Irish Banks and prepared for Bank of Ireland to report today.
By the end of the day the ISEQ Overall Index had added 1.01pc, or 29.52 points, to close at 2,939. An early buying spree continued into the afternoon with traders paying particular attention to the banks.
Inevitably, the three listed lenders were the centre of attention throughout the day. AIB's 10pc fall after it reported a €10.4bn loss on Tuesday was followed by a 9.09pc gain a day later, closing at 24c. Similarly, Bank of Ireland jumped 10.4pc to 28c, leading the index in percentage terms.
Bank of Ireland reports its annual results this morning. Irish Life and Permanent (IL&P), however, fell 6.04pc to 14c on the day it appointed Alan Cook as the new chairman of the bank. With a market capitalisation of some €38m, IL&P is now worth about the same as a top-end house on Ailesbury Road in Dublin at the height of the boom. Like the financials, the rest of the market had a mixed day but was driven mainly by CRH which recovered from losses earlier in the week to add 2.5pc, closing at €16.37.
Cider maker C&C added 0.39pc a day after new data showed its Magners cider was gaining market share in the UK but Greencore slumped 6.08pc to €1.13. Kerry Group fell 0.58pc on its ex-dividend date.
Elsewhere, European stocks gained as they rebounded from their biggest drop in four weeks while the region's factory output rose and JPMorgan Chase reported record profit.
National benchmark indexes rose in 16 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 Index and France's CAC 40 Index advanced 0.8pc, while Germany's DAX Index climbed 1.1pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.7pc.
"The global economic recovery is about the return in industrial and consumer confidence in the US and western Europe, so the impact of Japan's problems on European companies is limited," said Rob Radelaar, a fund manager at ING Investment Management in The Hague. "The recovery is still on track."
European industrial production growth accelerated in February, led by demand for intermediate and capital goods, indicating that the economy is gathering strength.
ARM jumped 6.8pc after Morgan Stanley reiterated its "overweight" recommendation for the company.
Reckitt Benckiser rallied 4.2pc after Bernstein analysts upgraded the maker of the Nurofen painkiller to "outperform" from "market perform". Analysts at JPMorgan Chase also said recent weakness in the shares presented a "good entry point".
Tesco gained 2pc as Bernstein reiterated its "outperform" recommendation.
The retailer reports its full-year earnings on April 19.