Shares steady despite BoI results
IRISH shares were almost unchanged yesterday, as Bank of Ireland's results and NAMA's decision to move against developer Derek Quinlan had little effect on the market.
By the close of trading the ISEQ overall index was up 0.02pc, or 0.69 points, at 2,939.69. It was a choppy day on the index, with no real pattern discernible throughout the session. Despite constant fluctuations, the index remained within a 20-point band between 2,928 and 2,948 from the opening bell to the close.
All eyes were on Bank of Ireland at the opening after the lender said it recorded a €950m loss during 2010. The bank said it would outline plans to raise the €5.2bn it requires to avoid state control within the weeks. The bank was by far the highest traded stock on the market but ultimately closed flat at 28c.
Irish Life & Permanent rose 5.71pc to 15c while Allied Irish Banks was unchanged.
There were few significant moves on the day, although CRH fell 0.98pc to €16.21. Jobless claims unexpectedly increased in the US, a key market for CRH. A CRH loss would normally be enough to tip the index into the red, but a rally by the food sector ensured a small gain for the ISEQ overall.
Aryzta added 1.5pc to €36.25 while Glanbia climbed 0.76pc to €4.37. Kerry Group jumped 1.73pc to €27.06.
Elsewhere, European stocks declined for the third time in four days as yields on Portuguese and Greek government bonds surged to records amid concern the countries may have to reschedule debt payments.
National benchmark indexes fell in all of the 18 western European markets, except Ireland and Iceland. The UK's FTSE 100 Index slid 0.8pc. France's CAC 40 lost 0.9pc, while Germany's DAX declined 0.4pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 0.5pc.
"There's a risk there might be a restructuring of the Greek debt, and the market is afraid of that," said Martin Huefner, chief economist at Assenagon in Munich. "The beginning of the earnings season was not good. You have to be a very lucky guy to invest in stocks now."
Banking shares posted the worst performance among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600, falling 1.5pc. Banco Santander, Spain's largest bank, slid 2.3pc while HSBC Holdings, Europe's biggest bank, dropped 1.3pc.
Danone advanced 2pc as the world's biggest yogurt maker reported first-quarter sales that beat analysts' estimates.
Nestle, the world's largest food company, climbed 1.3pc on the back of Danone's results.
In London, Reckitt Benckiser plunged 7.5pc, the biggest drop in eight years. The world's biggest maker of household cleaners said Rakesh Kapoor will replace Becht as chief executive in September.