Lots of action but ISEQ in doldrums as the banks make decent advances
THE Irish stock exchange languished in the doldrums yesterday despite lots of action elsewhere as traders breathed a sign of relief following China's moves to curb inflation without raising interest rates.
The ISEQ gained 22.13 points, or 0.8pc, to finish at 2,853.96 points as the banks gained. Allied Irish added 4.8pc to close at 46c, while rival Bank of Ireland jumped 9.3pc to 42.3c. Irish Life was up 3.5pc at €1.20.
The banks were among the biggest beneficiaries of the widespread optimism that European Union leaders will discuss the creation of a permanent mechanism to shore up over-indebted countries as the European Central Bank tries to hammer out plans to aid Ireland and other countries.
Paddy Power tacked on 1.2pc to €30.27 while Ryanair fell 0.7pc to €3.84 and Aer lingus fell 2.7pc to €1.10 as the price of oil increased.
European shares rose for a sixth straight day, the longest winning streak in five months, on optimism over the economy and China's decision to keep rates unchanged.
National benchmark indices advanced in 15 of the 18 western European markets.
Germany's DAX Index climbed 0.3pc and France's CAC 40 rallied 0.9pc.
Britain's top shares gained ground, lifted by miners after data from China showed there was no let-up in its booming growth. The FTSE closed up 48 points at 5861, having notched up a 1.2pc rise over the course of the previous week, albeit in light volumes as the UK market began its last full week of trading before the Christmas holiday period.
"The need for stronger momentum is required if the rally is to sustain itself," Sandy Jadeja, chief technical analyst at City Index, said.
"As long as momentum remains positive the upside targets for December could see the index reach for 6,050 to 6,117. It is essential that the FTSE now holds 5,770 as short term key pivots to maintain the bullish stance."
Miners provided the main support for Britain's blue chip index, gaining on the back of strong Chinese industrial output numbers which topped forecasts and sent copper in London to a record high.
The Shanghai Composite Index, SSEC, China's benchmark gauge for stocks, closed up 2.9pc, its largest percentage gain in two months.