Wednesday 17 January 2018

CRH soars on the back of Obama's focus on economy

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

IRISH shares were up for a second day in a row yesterday as President Barack Obama declared austerity would not lead to prosperity in his State of the Union address.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 1.55pc or 56.11 points to close the session at 3682.56.

The market rose steadily throughout the day.

In his first State of the Union address of his second term, Mr Obama focused largely on economic themes, stating that while deficit reduction must be part of the agenda it was not alone an economic plan.

The big winners in the Dublin market were building materials company CRH which was up 4. 3pc to €16.45 on the back of the optimism of US infrastructure following Mr Obama's address. The company is heavily exposed to the US market.

Insurance company FBD Holdings was up 3pc to close the session at €12.10, while packaging giant Smurfit Kappa was up 2.4pc to €11.50.

The laggards included oil exploration company Providence, which dropped 2pc to finish at €6.85 and drug firm Elan which fell 1.4pc to close the session at €7.52.

Aer Lingus had another off day amid reports it has told unions that it is halting payments of wage increases, including increments, until its pension defecit is resolved.

The airline fell 0.63pc to €1.27.

Elsewhere, European stocks advanced for a second day, erasing an earlier drop, as companies from Heineken to Peugeot Citroen reported better-than-estimated results and euro-area industrial output rose more than forecast.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.4pc to 288.18 by late afternoon in London, after dropping as much as 0.3pc.

National benchmark indices rose in all but one of the 18 western-European markets.


"Considering the fact that there haven't been too many earnings disappointments, we're already thinking about what will happen next quarter," said Pierre Mouton, a fund manager at Notz Stucki & Cie in Geneva.

"The macro economy is improving. In Europe things are moving in the right direction. We're pretty positive on stocks. There is a good possibility that companies can beat expectations next quarter."

Heineken, the world's third-largest brewer, rallied to a record. Peugeot climbed 7pc after France's biggest carmaker reported a narrower operating loss than predicted.

Irish Independent

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