Monday 23 April 2018

Banks lead gains as Irish stocks rise

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

IRISH stocks rose yesterday, with banks leading the gains after new data from the Central Bank showed a 6pc improvement in the number of mortgages in arrears of less than 90 days.

The ISEQ Overall Index closed up 16.77 points, or 0.4pc, at 4501.43. Permanent TSB topped the leaderboard, up 4pc to 5c, while AIB followed, rising 4pc to 12c. Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the figures suggest the mortgage arrears crisis is stabilising. Meanwhile, INM added 4pc to 14c while food group Aryzta rose 1pc to €55.85.

Mining companies led the declines. Petroneft Resources slipped 11pc to 6c, while Petroceltic shed 5pc to €1.77 and Aminex lost 5pc to 2c. TVC Holdings, whose revenues mostly come from an 18pc stake in Northern Irish broadcaster UTV, lost 3pc to 66c.

UTV recently announced plans for a new Republic-only channel and secured the rights to broadcast ITV content from 2015, but rival TV3 fought back this week by announcing new three-year deals for 'The X Factor', 'Britain's Got Talent' and 'Downton Abbey'.

In Europe stocks rose, extending a third consecutive monthly advance, as Rio Tinto Group and Boliden led mining companies higher and banks advanced. A European Commission report also boosted sentiment, showing that a gauge of economic confidence climbed for a seventh month to 98.5, exceeding the median economist forecast of 98. US equity and bond markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

In western Europe, national benchmark indexes rose in 15 of the 18 markets. The UK's FTSE 100 increased 0.1pc and France's CAC 40 rose 0.3pc while Germany's DAX added 0.4pc, extending a record. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.4pc to 325.24 at 4.33pm in London.

"Investors are still bullish equity," said equity strategist James Butterfill. "Market sentiment will continue to improve as people's outlook for corporate earnings in Europe picks up. Valuation multiples keep on expanding, and when you're sitting on quite a good return year-to-date, you wonder if you should take profits now."

Irish Independent

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