Friday 24 February 2017

ISEQ leaves other slump-hit economies behind

STOCKS in Ireland are leaving equities in the rest of Europe's weakest economies behind.

The Bloomberg chart of the day shows the performance of equities this year in countries whose budget deficits were among the largest in the euro region. Ireland's ISEQ Overall Index has advanced 9.9pc since December 31, compared with measures for Greece, Spain and Portugal that have fallen at least 3.8pc and trailed the other 12 developed markets in Europe. Only Finland and Denmark have seen bigger gains than Ireland.

Concern that European countries would struggle to contain their deficits has rattled global markets and damaged confidence in the region's common currency. Greece's ASE Index fell 3pc yesterday and the yield premium between the country's 10-year securities and benchmark German bunds rose to the most since the euro's debut in 1999 after the government revised its deficit higher to 12.9pc of gross domestic product, the largest in the region.

The ISEQ lost two-thirds of its value in the year that ended in March 2009 as a decade-long property boom imploded and Ireland suffered its deepest recession. "The future for Ireland looks much brighter than it did nine or 12 months ago," said Rossa White, chief economist at Davy. "We know how Greece feels. To extricate yourself from those difficulties and bring your public finances back in shape, you need to take some painful measures, and we did that last year."

The total value of Irish traded equities equals that of both France Telecom SA and UBS AG, according to Bloomberg data.

Irish Independent

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