Light trade has 'Christmas feeling'
IRISH shares traded marginally up yesterday, as buying in some of the major stocks outweighed profit-taking on a day of little activity on the Dublin market.
On the day, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.33pc, or 9.48 points, at 2839.93 on a day of light trading.
"There was a bit of a Christmas feeling around the market today," said one market player.
"Several stocks looked to be undervalued and were bought accordingly, but with volume as light as it was, it didn't take a whole lot to move the market."
CRH drove the ISEQ, climbing 0.85pc to €15.38 continuing the stock's good run of late while propelling other construction stocks as well.
Kingspan added 0.89pc to €6.72 while Abbey climbed 4.17pc to €5. Pharmaceuticals giant Elan climbed 1.63pc to €4.43. Traders welcomed the $203m fine Elan received from regulators in the US on the basis of it being no worse than the market had already expected.
On the other side of the board, many stocks finished the day in the red. The banks all slipped back on profit-taking amid a desire among some traders to square off their positions coming up to year end.
"The banks have had a pretty good run of late, so it was no surprise to see selling today. There's also a feeling that guys want to get some of the risk off their books before the new year, and the banks still equal risk for most."
Ryanair dropped 0.40pc but held above the €3.75 level, where there is seen to be strong support. By the close, Ryanair stood at €3.76.
Elsewhere, European stocks gained for the eighth time in nine days after better-than-forecast US economic data boosted speculation that the recovery is on track.
National benchmark indexes advanced in 10 of the 18 western European markets. France's CAC climbed 0.2pc and Germany's DAX increased 0.1pc. The UK's FTSE 100 was little changed. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.4pc.
"The markets are somewhat getting used to the idea of fiscal sustainability and the challenges in Europe," said Larry Hatheway, a London-based economist and asset-allocation strategist at UBS.
"They are otherwise being greeted by a lot of good news, particularly out of the US. The underlying data flow is going to continue to improve and that is going to underpin risk asset performance."
BP limited gains on the FTSE 100 in London, falling 1.4pc after the Obama administration filed a suit saying the company and four others violated environmental laws in the largest US oil spill on record.
BHP, the world's largest mining company, also retreated as copper fell for a second day, dropping 0.8pc.