Irish shares end week little changed but European stocks rise
IRISH shares were little changed as the week drew to a close, but the major European stocks rose, trimming their worst weekly loss of the year.
By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.11pc or 6.52 points to end the trading week at 6,006.48.
The leaders on the Dublin market included packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, which was up 2.1pc to €25.88, while insulation group Kingspan rose 1.4pc to €17.60.
On the other side of the board, the laggards included speciality baker Aryzta, down 1.7pc to €61, and home builders Abbey, which slipped 0.8pc to €11.75.
Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.3pc to 395.54 at the close of trading.
The benchmark gauge almost erased its gains in the final hour of trading amid losses in miners and energy shares, before moving higher.
The Stoxx 600 has rallied 15pc this year amid the European Central Bank's quantitative-easing plan, poised for the best quarter since 2009.
ECB President Mario Draghi said this week that he's confident the programme will reach its €60bn goal.
"Central banks are still a critical aspect of equities as an asset class," Ian Williams, a market strategist at Peel Hunt in London, said.
"We're at the point where the beneficial effects of QE have just started.
"It's showing up in the sentiment indicators, but it's not showing up in the hard economic data yet." Abengoa rallied 8.8pc. The Spanish construction company expects an initial payment of about $500m after signing a joint-venture agreement with EIG Global Energy Partners.
Swatch Group climbed 2.5pc after a report said chief executive officer Nick Hayek sees full-year revenue growth at the upper end of a forecast range.