Monday 18 December 2017

Irish stocks up slightly as Europe advances for a fifth day

The ISEQ is at its highest level since the middle of 2008.
The ISEQ is at its highest level since the middle of 2008.
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

The ISEQ index of Irish shares advanced 0.3pc yesterday, while in Europe stocks rose for a fifth day, extending a seven-year high, as data showed US employers added more jobs than forecast in January.

In Dublin the ISEQ closed at 5,613.38, led higher by large gains for Ormonde Mining and Independent News & Media (INM), which publishes the Irish Independent. Both companies advanced more than 7pc.

The ISEQ is at its highest level since the middle of 2008.

On the other side of the board, oil and gas explorer Providence Resources declined by 3.17pc and food company Aryzta lost just over 2pc.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.2pc to 373.31 at the close of trading, after earlier dropping as much as 0.4pc.

US jobs grew by 257,000 last month, beating analyst predictions for 228,000 and capping the greatest three-month jobs gain in 17 years.

"European market participants are cheering this very good number," Market Securities chief European strategist Stephane Ekolo said.

"The US economy remains strong, which bodes well for European stocks, in the sense that the euro will weaken against the dollar, creating support for EU exporters."

Stocks pared some gains as Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chair of the Eurozone's finance ministers' group, said the bloc won't grant Greece's request for a short-term financing agreement to keep the country afloat while it renegotiates the terms of its financial support.

Greece's ASE Index lost 2pc, trimming its best weekly increase since November.

Among companies moving on corporate news, GlaxoSmithKline advanced 1.1pc to its highest price since July after positive results from a trial combining two cancer drugs it's selling to Novartis, an outcome that triggers a $1.5bn (€1.32bn) payment from Novartis.

(Additional reporting Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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