Thursday 23 November 2017

Irish shares rise, bucking the European trend

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York. Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York. Reuters

Irish shares bucked the European trend yesterday and were up by mid-afternoon.

By 3pm in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.11pc or 6.7 points to 5,875.62.

The leaders by mid-afternoon on the Dublin market included exploration company Petroceltic, while insurance group FBD rose 2.3pc to €11.51.

The laggards included Providence Resources, which was down 12.8pc by mid-afternoon to 34 cents as it announced a $25.75m share placing.

Aer Lingus dropped 2.4pc to €2.21 as the boss of CItyJet said the rejection of an IAG offer would be gombeen politics, and Finance Minister Michael Noonan said a deal isn't off the table.

Elsewhere, European stocks fell from a seven-year high.

The Stoxx 600 slipped 0.2pc at 2.02 pm in London.

The equity gauge rose 0.6pc on Tuesday, pushing its gains this year to 13pc, as Greece reached a bailout deal and the Federal Reserve pledged patience on raising interest rates.

The Greek ASE Index declined 1.6pc yesterday, for the biggest drop among 18 western European markets.

"It's not a real decline; it is more a flattening or stabilisation of the high levels which we have recently reached," said Christian Stocker, a strategist at UniCredit Bank in Munich.

"We have decreasing tensions with the Greek problem and now the market is looking for new positive drivers, but we do not really have any, so I expect more or less a breather in the next few days and some consolidation moves."

Among stocks moving on corporate news, Axa advanced 2.9pc.

France's largest insurer posted a 12pc jump in full-year profit, buoyed by higher earnings at its life and savings division.

AP Moeller-Maersk rallied 9pc after saying it will divest its stake in Danske Bank as it focuses on developing its oil and shipping businesses.

Kuehne & Nagel International gained 2pc.

The world's biggest sea-freight forwarder raised its dividend after its overland shipping activities returned to profit.

Generally, global stocks have been on a red-hot run as last year's slump in oil and energy prices added to the already massive stimulus provided by the world's major central banks via record low interest rates.

News on Tuesday that the Eurozone had approved Greece's reform plan, a requirement for Athens to receive a four-month extension to its bailout, continued to help European bonds.

Germany saw investors effectively pay to lend it money for five years for the first time at a bond auction.

Irish yields hovered at a new low of just 1pc, although Greece saw its yields nudge up.

On currencies, the dollar fell for a second day against most major peers after the Chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, said the central bank's timetable for raising interest rates is flexible.

(Additional reporting: agencies)

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