Traders buoyed by positive US manufacturing data
Markets around the world, including in Ireland, ended the week in positive territory as upbeat manufacturing data from the US and less instability from Greece buoyed traders.
While few traders believe the Greek crisis is over, there was a sense that contagion for countries such as Ireland and Portugal is under control for now. European finance ministers will talk over the weekend, but the immediate crisis has passed after two crucial votes in Athens this week.
Partly reflecting this, the ISEQ was up 1.39pc at 2,994, as it hovered near its highs for the year.
A batch of exploration stocks, including Aminex, Ormonde Mining and Petroceltic, were notable risers during the day. The share-price increases seemed curious in the light of falling crude prices, but Aminex directors have been buying shares this week, which may explain its upward movement.
Bank of Ireland shares rose by 6pc to 12 cent as the Irish banking sector was reshaped.
Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide will now share a new name -- Irish Bank Resolution Company -- while AIB/the Government settled a long-running dispute with a US hedge fund over subordinated bonds.
Financial stocks in general rose by almost 3pc, with Irish Life & Permanent moving up strongly on the back of a bond buyback. AIB, meanwhile, is effectively nationalised and little importance is now attached to its share movements.
The rise in the Dublin exchange came despite negative economic data, with manufacturing output slumping in June. While monthly figures can be unreliable indicators, it was the biggest drop since last September.
However, the Dublin market seemed to take its lead from elsewhere, particularly the US, where the S&P advanced 1pc in early trade as a US manufacturing index unexpectedly rose and Greece moved away from a default. Treasuries fell and corn tumbled for a third day.
The Irish data for next week should shed a lot more light on the country's fortunes as the exchequer returns will show the latest tax returns and spending patterns.
It was also a symbolic day for Grafton shareholders as the company's executive chairman, Michael Chadwick, finished his final day.
Grafton shareholders gave him a decent send-off as the stock rose by almost 2pc.