Business World

Tuesday 28 March 2017

ISEQ ends miserable May up 0.2pc

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

THE ISEQ ended the last session of May up 0.2pc but still posted its worst performance for that month since the present index was created back in the early 1980s.

The index closed down more than 13pc since the beginning of the month despite yesterday's advance to 2,944.98 points following a quiet day's trading due to bank holidays in the UK and the US. The total value of shares traded was just over €32.6m or around a quarter of Friday's levels.

Tullow was one of the few big stocks to move, sliding 4.3pc to €12.66 after the company confirmed that it is seeking to replace chairman Pat Plunkett.

The former stock exchange chairman has held the top job in the oil explorer for a decade. CRH dropped 1.2pc to €18.

Stocks elsewhere in Europe, Canada and Brazil advanced along with oil as investors speculated the global economy will withstand the debt crisis in the eurozone.

Spanish government bonds fell after Fitch Ratings stripped the nation of its AAA rating, and shares fell in Israel.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.3pc while crude rose by the same percentage. Stocks fell in Israel on concern that tensions may escalate after at least 10 people were killed as commandos clashed with pro-Palestinian activists.

"There was no bad news over the weekend," said Eduardo Favrin, who oversees about $2.5bn in stocks as head of equities for HSBC Global Asset Management's Brazil unit in Sao Paulo.

"The absence of the American market really dries out the liquidity in other markets."

National benchmark indexes rose in nine of the 17 western European markets that were open yesterday. Germany's DAX gained 0.3pc while France's CAC 40 dropped 0.2pc.

Daimler rose 1.7pc, leading a gauge of carmakers to the biggest gain among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600. Deutsche Bank raised its share-price estimate to €50 from €42, citing "business momentum" in both the trucks and Mercedes Benz cars divisions.

Preferred shares of Volkswagen, Europe's largest carmaker, climbed 2.2pc. Fiat SpA advanced 1.8pc. The Italian carmaker was upgraded to "outperform" from "neutral" at Intermonte Sim.

BP slid 7pc in German trading as Europe's second-biggest oil company abandoned a three-day effort to plug a leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico. BP will instead use undersea robots to begin cutting damaged piping as it seeks to end the largest oil spill in US history.

Shares of Sanoma Oyj rose 2.9pc in Helsinki trading after the biggest Nordic media company agreed to sell its Welho unit.

Irish Independent

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