Business Irish

Thursday 18 January 2018

Buying spree boosts ISE shares

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares rebounded yesterday as traders went looking for buying opportunities after two days of heavy selling.

By the close of trading, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 1.5pc, or 35.64 points, at 2,417.70.

It was a day of huge volatility in the index, with the market lurching between a 40 point band for most of the day, before ending near its high for the session.

Among the winners yesterday was Aryzta. The Irish-led bakery giant added 5.94pc amid reports it could consider selling its 71pc share in Origin Enterprises, which is said to be subject to a takeover bid.

Paddy Power climbed 4.27pc to €36.60 as dealers looked to relatively safe stocks, while Ryanair rose 1.92pc to €3.08. Smurfit Kappa Group rose 1.53pc to €4.32.

Despite the positive day's trading overall, the single biggest movement among individual companies was down. Financial services company IFG lost more than a quarter of its value after announcing that talks to sell the company had broken down without a bid being made for the firm. By the close, IFG had recorded its worst day's trading in eight years, closing down 26.38pc at €1.20.

Meanwhile, European stocks rose for the first time in three days, with the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index rebounding from a two-year low, as banking shares and carmakers advanced.

National benchmark indices rose in every western European market except Greece, Iceland and Norway. The UK's FTSE 100 Index advanced 0.9pc, Germany's DAX Index jumped 1.9pc and France's CAC 40 Index rallied 1.4pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 added 0.9pc.

"Some buying is slowly materialising as some of the cheap prices some stocks are trading at now are slowly becoming irresistible to some traders," said Markus Huber, head of German sales trading at ETX Capital in London. "As long as there is no fundamental change in regard to the European financial crisis and the stalemate in the US continues to persist, every recovery should be rather short lived."

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said an "uncontrolled insolvency" in Greece would probably affect every other country. She also said that representatives of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission would return to Greece this week.

Banking shares were the best performers as a group in the Stoxx 600, rising 3.6pc a day after sustaining heavy losses. Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest bank, advanced 8.2pc while UniCredit, Italy's largest lender, rose 7.4pc.

Societe Generale jumped 15pc, as France's second-largest lender erased an earlier slump of 8.1pc. Chief executive Frederic Oudea said the bank had sufficient capital and liquidity.

Irish Independent

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