Thursday 18 January 2018

ISEQ finishes week ahead with gains for major stocks

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares rose yesterday, as gains among most major stocks ensured the market finished the week on the up.

By the close of trading the ISEQ Overall Index had gained 1.4pc, or 41.1 points, to close at 2,967.55.

That gain more or less pulled the index back to parity for the week, having opened on Monday at 2,967.74.

Elan continued its strong week, gaining another 4.77pc yesterday to stand at €6.61 -- up nearly 9pc on the week. The pharmaceuticals company said earlier on Thursday it expected to sign more licensing deals in the next six months.

CRH also recovered some of its losses from the last five days, rising 1.35pc to €15.05. The company was still off more than 1pc since Monday.

Drinks maker C&C rose 1.1pc to €3.57 while the banks had a strong finish to the week. Irish Life and Permanent led the market in percentage terms, rising 12.12pc, while Bank of Ireland added 3.35pc. Allied Irish Banks was little changed.

There were some losers on the day, with Ormonde Mining dropping 6.9pc to 12c. Irish Continental Group dipped 1.19pc to €16.20.

Elsewhere, national benchmark indexes rose in all 18 western European markets except Greece. Germany's DAX Index added 0.7pc and the UK's FTSE 100 Index rallied one percent. France's CAC 40 Index climbed 0.9pc while the Stoxx Europe 600 increased 0.7pc.

"I'm still bullish on equities until the end of the year, but we should see more volatile sessions in the summer," said Robert Halver, head of research at Baader Bank in Frankfurt.

"We're still facing the debt crisis, but the liquidity environment is good."

In London, Xstrata, the world's fourth-largest copper producer, gained 2pc while Antofagasta, which owns copper mines in Chile, increased 4.3pc. Rio Tinto, the world's third-largest mining company, advanced 2.9pc.

Copper rebounded in London, advancing as much as 2.4pc to €6,462 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange.

Premiums paid by Chinese importers over the London cash price are being quoted as high as €84 a metric ton, said Zhang Yu, an analyst at Yong'an Futures Co.

Lloyds jumped 2.8pc, RBS rallied 3.4pc and Barclays climbed 1.5pc.

Citigroup raised its recommendation for European banks to "overweight", citing the drop in share prices over the last three months as an opportunity to increase holdings in "stronger" firms. Analysts at Societe Generale said in a report that UK banks were in "better shape than you think".

Irish Independent

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