ISEQ up amid ECB gloom
IRISH shares closed slightly up yesterday, as a warning from European Central Bank boss Mario Draghi that the continent's economy was still in danger and news that euro policymakers were contemplating channelling additional funding through the IMF hit sentiment.
By the close of trading, the ISEQ Overall Index had gained 0.27pc, or 7.27 points, to close at 2,733.67. The index climbed from the opening, but fell back in the afternoon after touching 2,760 at one point.
In purely percentage terms, the big winner yesterday was Providence Resources, which surged 14.03pc to go back above €2.52. The oil and gas explorer was boosted by oil prices, which rose in London and New York.
Greencore climbed 5.1pc to 66c on what was a mixed day for the food sector overall. Glanbia was up marginally to €4.51, but Kerry Group dropped 2.14pc to €27.64. Aryzta slid 1.89pc to €35.32.
On the negative side of the board, the volatile commodity plays were the ones in the most difficulty. Kenmare Resources dropped 7.49pc to 46c, while Petroneft fell 5.21pc to 23c. Dragon Oil was another commodity stock that struggled, sliding 1.97pc to €5.43.
Elsewhere, the ructions in Europe pushed most stocks down, following two weeks of losses for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
National benchmark indices declined in 12 of the 18 western European markets. France's CAC 40 Index added 0.1pc, Germany's DAX Index slipped 0.5pc and the UK's FTSE 100 Index sank 0.4pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 was little changed.
Euro-area finance ministers held a conference call to discuss channelling €200bn in additional funding through the IMF and the mechanics of a so-called fiscal compact agreed at the December 9 summit.
The ECB will offer unlimited funding against collateral for as long as three years in a tender tomorrow in Mr Draghi's latest attempt to get cash flowing around the financial system. It was up to lenders to decide what to do with the money, he said.
Vedanta Resources dropped 3.6pc. Antofagasta slid 1.9pc and Xstrata lost 1.4pc. Copper futures dropped in London and New York as investors speculated that demand will ease after property prices fell in China, the world's biggest consumer of industrial metals.
In November, 49 big cities monitored in China posted house-price declines, the most this year, after the government affirmed plans to maintain property curbs.
Air Berlin rallied 8.3pc after saying that Etihad Airways will pay €72.9m to increase its stake in the German airline to 29.2pc.
Nestle climbed as the world's biggest food company limited declines on the Stoxx 600.