Thursday 23 February 2017

ISEQ finishes the week firmly in positive territory

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A SLEW of Irish stocks overcame some earlier minor jitters to help the ISEQ finish the week firmly in positive territory.

There were some strong gainers yesterday across a range of sectors, amid decent volumes.

The ISEQ Overall Index closed up almost 1.7pc, or 55.29 points, at 3,330.80.The Financial Index finished the day 31.57, or 2.5pc higher, at 1,269, but that was compared to an even stronger performance earlier on in the session, when it reached as much as 1,297.

The ISEQ Overall Index is now at its highest closing level since October of last year.

Shares in Allied Irish Banks (AIB) ended the day 5.8pc, or 8 cent, firmer at €1.54, while Bank of Ireland was only able to muster a one cent change to close up slightly at €1.73. It had been nearly 2pc higher during the day.

Irish Life & Permanent edged up three cent, or 0.7pc, to end the session at €3.93.

Glanbia stock tumbled nearly 5.9pc, or 20 cent, to €3.20. That was on the back of higher-than-average volume, as the dairy group said in a statement to the stock exchange that it had received no formal offer yet for its Irish dairy business.

The listed company is in talks with its 55pc co-op shareholder to sell the Irish division. The co-op is considering offering as much as €420m, the Irish Independent revealed this week.

Other movers included drug company Elan, which reports first-quarter figures next week. It climbed 13 cent, or 2.3pc, to end at €5.84.

Shares in insulation maker Kingspan rose 5pc, or 35 cent, to €7.35. That was on the back of healthy volume.

Overall, European stocks climbed for a sixth straight week, the longest winning streak in a year, as a US jobs report indicated the economy is strengthening and concern eased that Greece's debt crisis might spread to other nations.

National benchmark indices advanced in 15 of the 18 western European markets. Germany's DAX rose 1.3pc to 6,249.7 and France's CAC 40 rose 1.2pc to 4024.43.

Boliden, Europe's second-largest zinc producer, which owns Tara Mines, gained 4.1pc.

Premier Oil, a UK explorer operating in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, advanced 3.7pc to £13.32 after Royal Bank of Scotland raised its recommendation from 'hold' to 'buy'.

National Bank of Greece, the country's biggest bank, dropped 8.7pc.

EFG Eurobank Ergasias, the second-largest Greek lender, declined 13pc. Alpha Banks, the third-biggest, slid 6.5pc. Piraeus Bank lost 9.4pc. (Additional reporting Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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