ISEQ hits 2017 high fuelled by Kerry, Kingspan and Ryanair performance
The ISEQ index of Irish shares reached a year-to-date high, tipping 6750.78 points on Monday before rounding off the week's trading at 6692.27.
Its growth this year has been fuelled by strong performances from the heavily-weighted Kerry Group, Kingspan, and Ryanair stocks.
Aryzta, where Owen Killian recently departed as chief executive, has been the major drag on the index and is down nearly 25pc year-to-date.
"The real difference between the ISEQ and the FTSE 100 is that because there are a number of very large companies relatively speaking in the ISEQ, the performance of the overall index is skewed by those," said Jerome Kavanagh, a trading strategist on the active trading desk at Goodbody Stockbrokers.
The index as a whole is up just over 182 points so far this year and Kerry is the biggest contributor to that - rising more than 15.5pc and adding more than 110 points. "Kerry has been a very consistent performer for a number of years, its stock took an initial hit after Trump's election, just with the general move out of defensive/staple sectors. But as some of the Trump policies have taken longer to materialise, we've seen a return to some of the defensive/staple type sectors and Kerry is a good example of that," Kavanagh said.
Kingspan has added over 39 points, while Ryanair has added almost 36 points. Aryzta has shaved almost 61 points off the index this year, with CRH the second-biggest downward force despite being little-changed overall, as a result of its sheer size.
"Kingspan has been a solid performer for a number of years. There probably were some investor concerns after the Brexit vote ... but thus far we haven't seen any material slowdown in that market. There were probably some concerns about rising steel prices, steel being an input cost for Kingspan's products, but they seem to be managing those increases quite well with their customers," Kavanagh said, adding that Ryanair is "still a very good long-term story".
More generally, he said there has been a strong recovery from the lows of the financial crisis, but that gains will prove harder to come by from here on out as a result of the "well-publicised dual risks of Brexit and Trump's protectionist policies".
Sunday Indo Business