Connemara gives boost with upbeat news on prospect
IRISH exploration minnow Connemara Mining provided some action for investors yesterday as the firm fronted by entrepreneur John Teeling issued an upbeat update on its continuing lead and zinc prospect in Limerick. Shares in the firm soared over 30pc at one stage, although the company still has a market capitalisation of less than €4m.
But wider European stock movements were dominated by somewhat mixed news. Indices were spurred by good quarterly performances from companies such as chemicals giant BASF, Volkswagen and Telecom Italia.
But that optimism came even as the UK economy shrank in the fourth quarter and German gross domestic product declined 0.2pc in the last three months of 2011. The UK's Office for National Statistics said Britain might avoid a recession, though, as consumer spending and exports rise.
There was also positive economic data from the United States.
In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index tracked the wider European trend. It ended the session 0.93pc, or 29.55 points higher at 3,200.25. It was the last Friday before a raft of companies report earnings in coming weeks, including Kingspan, CRH and Aer Lingus next week.
And indeed Kingspan was among the main movers yesterday, adding 3.3pc, or 25.5 cent, to finish at €7.98. That's the highest price the stock has traded at since about September 2008, just as the economic crisis kicked off.
Dairy group Glanbia gained nearly 3.5pc, or 18.5 cent, to enter the weekend at €5.48. That's even as board differences delay a move by the group to expand its processing facilities before milk quotas disappear in 2015.
Betting group Paddy Power advanced 2.8pc, or €1.20, to €43.90. UK rival William Hill, Britain's biggest bookmaker, said operating profit for 2011 was virtually unchanged compared to 2010 at £276m. It raised its dividend 16pc.
National benchmark indices advanced in 11 of the 18 western-European markets yesterday. Germany's DAX gained 0.5pc, while France's CAC 40 rose 0.4pc. The UK's FTSE 100 slipped 0.1pc.
Ten companies on the Stoxx 600 were scheduled to report financial results yesterday. Of the 212 that have reported quarterly earnings so far, 108 have missed analyst estimates, while 92 have beaten them.