ISEQ closes up for third day
THE ISEQ gained for a third day as a slew of small companies announced good news. Shares elsewhere also gained as companies unveiled pleasant surprises which beat analysts’ expectations.
The ISEQ closed up 16.92 points, or 0.6pc, at 2969.49 points. National benchmark indexes rose in all 18 western European markets, except Iceland.
The UK’s FTSE 100 increased 0.9pc while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 both advanced 0.6pc. The biggest riser was exploration company Aminex, which jumped 9.5pc to 17c.
First Derivatives soared 9.4pc to €2.90 after it secured financial investment from Invest Northern Ireland's economic development agency to support ongoing research and development efforts.
Worldspreads rose 5.8pc to 73c after announcing that it will supply technology to Ladbrokes’ websites.
Among the index’s bigger stocks, Irish Life jumped 4.8pc to €3.01 after Moody’s said only 3.2pc of outstanding Irish prime residential mortgage-backed securities portfolios were more than 90 days delinquent in December.
Some analysts had expected higher levels. Heavyweight C&C advanced 3.2pc to €2.91 after the drinks company named heavyweight Brian Stewart as chairman designate.
Mr Stewart is a former chief executive and chairman of Scottish & Newcastle, who turned the brewer from minor player to leading European brewery.
Elsewhere in Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index gained 0.6pc, the eighth advance in nine days as several companies issued impressive results.
Stocks pared their advance as a US Labour Department report showed initial US jobless-benefit applications rose by 31,000 to 473,000 last week. Economists had forecast claims would fall.
ABB jumped the most in 11 months as the world’s biggest builder of power grids said fourth-quarter profit more than doubled. Swiss Re, the secondlargest re-insurer, climbed 2.8pc.
Daimler slid the most since October after reporting a full-year loss and proposing cancelling its dividend.
“What comes through in this reporting season will set you up for where the rest of the year is going,” said Piers Hillier, who helps manage $12bn as chief investment officer at Liverpool Victoria Asset Management in London.
“We’re starting to see improvement.” BAE Systems rose 4.3pc after Europe’s biggest arms company announced a £500m share buyback and predicted growth for this year. Sonova Holding climbed 3.4pc after the hearing- aid maker increased its sales and profitability forecasts.