Business Irish

Tuesday 20 February 2018

ISEQ up after Europe ends week in positive territory

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares rose yesterday, as the Dublin market joined in a day of heavy buying across Europe.

By the close of trading the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.51pc, 14.5 points, at 2,881.67.

The fourth day of gains out of five ensured the index posted a weekly net gain for the first time in over a month, having opened at 2,787.08 on Monday.

No one industry led the way, but the food sector had by and large a positive day. Aryzta added 1.18pc to reach €34.40 while Kerry Group rose 0.9pc.

Construction stocks rounded off the week on a positive note with CRH again coming out of the day on top. The company increased 1.17pc to reach €16.39 by the time stumps were drawn.

As had been the pattern this week, Kingspan followed in CRH's footsteps, climbing 1.09pc to €6.41. Commodity stocks were volatile for most of the day, with Providence (up 3.13pc to €3.30) and Petroceltic (up 8.79pc to 13c) posting strong gains but others such as Kenmare Resources (down 4.6pc to 48c) and Dragon Oil (down 5.92pc to €6.36) posting losses.

Elsewhere, national benchmark indexes rose in 11 of the 17 western European markets that were open. France's CAC 40 added 0.1pc, the UK's FTSE rose 0.3pc and Germany's DAX climbed 0.2pc. Greek markets were closed for a holiday. The Stoxx 600 advanced 0.1pc.

"The situation in Japan was quickly stabilised," said Matthieu Giuliani, a fund manager at Palatine Asset Management in Paris. "Many investors were looking for an entry point. Valuations aren't high and that's a support for stocks, but there isn't anything to get overly excited about."

In Japan, the nuclear regulator said one reactor core at the quake-damaged Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant may be cracked and leaking radiation. Prime Minister Naoto Kan said efforts to bring the situation under control haven't yet reached a stage where the government can let down its guard.

SAP gained 1.9pc after Accenture, the world's second-largest technology-consulting company, gave a sales forecast for this quarter that exceeded analysts' estimates and Oracle projected fourth-quarter profit that topped analysts' predictions.

TF1, owner of France's most popular TV channel, dropped 3.5pc and M6-Metropole Television declined 1.5pc. Analysts said the broadcasters will face increased competition for advertising revenue after Canal Plus announced plans to start its own free channel.

HMV surged 4.5pc amid reports the company is looking at options for its Waterstone's bookstores and Canadian outlets.

Irish Independent

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