ISEQ rounds off the week with a broad positive tone
THE ISEQ jumped at the off yesterday and held on to a generous gain to end the week on a positive note. The performance mirrored that of other European bourses where investors were buoyed by speculation of a fresh wave of mergers and acquisitions that could prove a boon to share prices.
The ISEQ Overall Index ended the session 1.1pc higher, up 33.57 points at 3,057.30. The index had shuffled over the 3,000 mark yesterday week for the first time in a month. It's still way off the more than 3,400 mark it was at around the end of last September.
Stocks broadly rose, including financials, but it was Greencore that put in the best performance of the day, rising 5.2pc, or nearly 7 cent, to end the day at €1.38. That was on the back of more than twice the average daily volume of the past three months.
Other food-related stocks were in play including those of agri-nutrition group Origin Enterprises. This week, the Aryzta spin-off said earnings fell 18pc in the first half of its financial year, but said the position will improve in the full-year out-turn. The stock was up 2.3pc, or 5 cent, at €2.20 on higher than usual volumes.
Shares in Glanbia, which this week confirmed it's in talks to sell its Ireland-based dairy business to its biggest shareholder, the Glanbia Co-operative Society, gained 3 cent. A successful deal could net Glanbia anywhere between €255m and €280m. The stock rose over 1pc to €2.55 yesterday.
On the financial front, shares in Allied Irish Banks (AIB) were 3.6pc, or 5 cent higher at €1.45 yesterday. Bank of Ireland rose almost 5pc, or 6 cent, to €1.23 on average volume. Irish Life & Permanent was up less than 1pc at €3.93.
National benchmark indices climbed in 14 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 rose 0.2pc and Germany's DAX gained 0.3pc. France's CAC 40 slipped less than 0.1pc.
The Stoxx 600 rose 0.3pc to 258.4, a seven-week high. The measure gained 0.5pc during the week, extending its advance since this year's low on February 5 to 8.8pc amid speculation the European Union will support Greece if needed as it struggles to reduce the region's biggest budget deficit.
Siemens rallied 1.7pc to €68.38, the highest close since October. Nexans, the world's biggest maker of cables and wires, surged 3.4pc to €58.71. SIG, Europe's largest supplier of insulation and roofing, soared 3.9pc to nearly £1.26.
(Additional reporting Bloomberg)