Saturday 24 February 2018

Irish shares rise in tandem with Europe

A man walks past Telefonica's building in central Madrid March 26, 2013. REUTERS/Juan Medina
A man walks past Telefonica's building in central Madrid March 26, 2013. REUTERS/Juan Medina

Patrick Edwards and Roxana Zega

Irish shares advanced again yesterday to a new six-and-a-half year high.

The ISEQ closed up 32.19 points, or 0.5pc, at 6,264.48 points as European stocks advanced for a fifth day, with Spanish equities jumping to their highest levels since January 2010.

Among the gainers in Dublin was Smurfit Kappa which closed up 2pc at €29.50 amid reports that a rival is preparing a bid for the paper maker. Miner Titanium miner Kenmare soared 20pc to 5.9pc amid rumours it has a funding deal in place with lenders. Oil companies endured big losses. Providence Resources slid 8.7pc to 42 cent while Dragon Oil was down 1.6pc at 8.57.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2pc to 413.63 at the close of trading in London, after rising as much as 0.3pc. Gains in Telefonica and Banco Santander pushed the IBEX 35 Index up 1pc for one of the biggest jumps in western-European markets. The region's miners fell for the first time in five days as China's exports unexpectedly slumped the most in more than a year, raising questions over the durability of global demand.

"The market is undecided after a very good run and right now there's no clear catalyst to push the market any further," said Ioan Smith, managing director at trading firm KCG Europe. "As long as investors have the ECB's QE backstop people will continue to buy the market."

The gains propelled the value of global equities above $70 trillion for the first time. Benchmark stock gauges of Denmark, Portugal, Italy and Germany jumped the most among developed markets this year, climbing more than 25pc. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was among the worst performers.

Among stocks moving on corporate news yesterday, MorphoSys climbed 6.3pc as one of its experimental drugs to treat arthritis entered a second phase of trial. Aviva gained 1.2pc after Barclays and Morgan Stanley recommended buying the stock.

Irish Independent

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