Thursday 18 January 2018

ISEQ closes at highest level since 2008

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Reuters

The ISEQ Overall Index rose again to close at a new seven-year high following a strong start to the earnings season here and overseas.

The benchmark closed up 18.98 points, or 0.3pc, at 5,898.076 points. Kenmare rose 3.9pc to 41.38 cent after it forecast a new deal with lenders by the end of next month. Smurfit Kappa extended recent gains to close up 2.3pc at €25 while property companies Green REIT and Dalata both rose 1.8pc amid a flurry of good news from listed Irish developers.

Losers included First Derivatives, which announced results and an acquisition yesterday. The shares were down 3.5pc at €17.85. Bank of Ireland, which announces results today, fell 1.9pc to just over 31 cent.

Stocks elsewhere in Europe climbed to the highest level since July 2007 as Bayer and GDF Suez SA rose after reporting earnings.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 1pc to 390.69 at the close of trading, the biggest gain in more than a month.

Bayer added 3.7pc as it forecast an increase in 2015 sales. GDF Suez gained 1pc after saying it will cut costs and posting annual net income in line with estimates.

"I still think equities will go higher," said William Hobbs, head of equity strategy at Barclays's wealth-management unit in London. "People were very worried about Greece, elections, geopolitics and the economic recovery. We're seeing green shoots everywhere now, and you have the ECB being much more aggressive."

The Stoxx 600 has rallied 6.4pc in February, pushing gains this year to 14pc, as Greece reached a bailout deal and the European Central Bank announced quantitative easing.

Royal Bank of Scotland slid 4.1pc after posting a seventh annual loss as it wrote down the value of its US unit. The owner of Ulster Bank here said operating profit fell short of projections.

Irish Independent

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