Monday 20 August 2018

Iseq at post-crash high as European shares power ahead

Traders laugh as they work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York
Traders laugh as they work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

In Dublin the Iseq hit 7174 on Friday, the highest level in more than a decade, although it remains well below the all-time high of 9981 recorded in February of 2007.

Positive momentum saw gains clocked up by Irish names across sectors and industries.

Heavyweights Bank of Ireland and Glanbia led the gains, while names including First Derivative and Cairn Homes lagged the recovery.

European shares powered to their best week since last April on Friday, with the British and Swiss benchmarks hitting records, propelled by optimism about a strengthening regional economy and fresh new highs on Wall Street.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.8pc, holding at a two-month high, while eurozone blue chips rose 1.1pc, also scoring their best performance since April.

Markets outside of the eurozone saw several record levels broken. Switzerland's blue chip SMI index rose 0.5pc to an all-time high, while Britain's FTSE 100 also jumped to another record, even if its rise, 0.4pc, was more modest.

"There is little impediment for continued gains whilst economic conditions that we've seen over the last few months continue, and there's every reason to expect that to continue to be the case," said Ken Odeluga, market analyst at City Index. "Every now and then when things are right you do get quite spectacular advances."

Gains were trimmed briefly when US non-farm payrolls missed expectations, but the upward trend resumed quickly. (Additional reporting Reuters)

Irish Independent

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