ISEQ milestone as it crosses the 5,000 mark for first time in five years
THE ISEQ marked a milestone yesterday as it crossed the 5,000 threshold for the first time in more than five years.
By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.37pc or 18.57 points to end the trading week at 5004.85.
In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose to its highest level in six years.
The ISEQ index broke through the 4,000 mark for the first time since the crisis in February of last year.
But it is still far off the high of 9981.08 seen in July of 2007.
Yesterday was the third consecutive day of gains for the index. The leaders on the market included the state's two main banks, with AIB rising 2.9pc to 14 cents, while Bank of Ireland increased 3.2pc to 35 cents.
Insurance group FBD increased 1.1pc to €18.60, while property investment fund Green REIT was up 0.8pc to €1.25. On the other side of the board, the laggards included shipping and transport group Irish Continental, which slipped 1.4pc to €29.10.
Insulation group Kingspan fell 0.8pc to €13.95, while fruit company Fyffes fell 0.5pc to 92 cents. Glanbia dropped 0.4pc to €10.85. Elsewhere, the Stoxx 600 rose 0.4pc at the close of trading, for a 0.8pc weekly gain.
The gauge has rallied 5.8pc since February 4 as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's pledge to continue her predecessor's approach to stimulus policy, fuelled optimism that the US economic recovery can withstand reduced monthly bond purchases.
National benchmark indices climbed in 16 of 18 western-European markets yesterday. Germany's DAX gained 0.4pc, France's CAC 40 added 0.6pc and the UK's FTSE 100 advanced 0.4pc. "The fact that equity markets are back to near recent highs only proves that there is sufficient interest and capital going forward to support them," said William Hobbs, the London-based head of equity strategy at Barclays wealth- management unit.
"It's not worth betting against a global economic recovery. Equities are the only game in town unless you really question the US growth picture." Vodafone Group rose 3pc as UBS said the mobile-phone operator may attract potential bidders after the sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless.Valeo jumped 13pc after the French auto-parts maker posted six-month earnings that beat analyst estimates.
The pound had its biggest weekly decline against the dollar in three months after retail sales fell more in January than analysts forecast.