ISEQ static despite gains elsewhere
IRISH shares were little changed despite gains elsewhere in Europe as UBS and Deutsche Bank reported earnings that beat estimates and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision softened its proposed capital rules.
The ISEQ slipped 3.42 points, or just 0.1pc, to close at 2943.83 points as declines in Ryanair and Icon offset gains in Bank of Ireland. The ISEQ was just one of three national benchmark indexes to fall in Western Europe.
Ryanair closed down 2.9pc at €3.84 after chief executive Michael O'Leary sold 5m shares at €3.90 each. Icon was down 0.5pc at €20 after saying 2010 profit will be at the lower end of the guidance provided in February.
Shares in New York, where Icon's shares tend to respond more quickly to news, tumbled the most in four months. The shares were down $2.60, or 9.4pc, at $25.09 at 11:35am local time. Bank of Ireland surged 8pc to 84c as European banks rallied as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision relaxed some of its proposed capital and liquidity rules.
Allied Irish didn't benefit from the goodwill, falling by 0.1pc to 95c as NCB Stockbrokers warned detailed stress test figures may be a "significant blow" to the lender's efforts to raise capital.
The bank's profit under European stress tests includes gains from buying back bonds and earnings from units which are for sale, analyst Ciaran Callaghan said yesterday. The bank's core units may be "close to breakeven, if not in loss-making territory" under the adverse scenario in European tests, he said.
Tullow, the biggest company quoted on the Dublin exchange, had another good day, rising 1.9pc to €15.04 after positive news about the company's plans in Uganda.
Elsewhere in Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed up 0.4pc to extend a five-week high. Stocks pared gains after a report showed confidence among US consumers declined in July to a five-month low. The Conference Board's confidence index fell to 50.4 from a revised 54.3 in June, according to figures from the New York-based private research group.
Switzerland's UBS surged 11pc while Germany's Deutsche Bank gained 4.5pc as both banks surprised investors by the strength of their retail units.
"I am happy about the figures, which beat really high expectations," said Philipp Musil, who helps oversee $10bn at Semper Constantia Privatbank in Vienna, referring to the Deutsche Bank and UBS earnings.
Tomkins, a British maker of car transmissions and bath tubs, soared 5.4pc after agreeing to be bought by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Onex Corp for £2.89bn to add to their investments in the car industry.