Business Irish

Thursday 14 December 2017

Jitters persist but traders hold their nerve and ISEQ finishes 1.52pc up

John Mulligan

MARKETS around Europe opened bracing for the worst as the debt crisis shows little signs of abating.

But investors held their nerves as speculation mounted that the European Central Bank (ECB) might cut their rate and pressure was piled on leaders to take decisive action to stabilise the situation.

Soon after the opening, the ISEQ was, in common with other European markets, trading higher, but jitters still persisted during the day.

A number of stocks left the starting line showing gains, including, more notably, CRH, Ryanair and food group Aryzta. Despite dipping after lunch, the ISEQ Overall Index recovered some of that lost ground, ending the session 1.52pc, or 36.59 points higher, at 2,441.33.

Some of the biggest gainers on the day include pharmaceutical group Elan, which added almost 5pc, to finish at €7.40.

CRH, the biggest component of the index, gained 3.09pc, or 33 cent, to close at €11. It's been trading at below the levels it plumbed when the global financial crisis first took hold in 2008.

Food group Aryzta -- the company that was created when Irish firm IAWS acquired Swiss baker Hiestand in 2008 -- rose 2.6pc to €32.80 in Dublin.


The group, which completed two major acquisitions in the past year, reported a 53pc rise in revenue for the year to the end of July to €2.6bn. Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation jumped 55.6pc to €322.2m.

Its chief executive, Owen Killian, said he still expected the company to hit this year's earning targets despite the economic headwinds facing consumers who bought its products, including breads and pastries.

"We have substantial financial market volatility and this impacts more than banks and stockmarkets," he said. "It has implications for consumers."

Diversified group DCC, which last week announced it has acquired additional fuel distribution businesses in the UK to cement its number one position there, added 3.07pc, or 55 cent, to €18.45.

Aer Lingus, which will hold a big investor day tomorrow, rose 3.2pc, or 2 cent to 64 cent.

Drinks group C&C, which owns the Bulmers and Magners cider brands, dropped nearly 1.8pc, or 5.3 cent, to finish at €2.91, while dairy group Glanbia shed 2.86pc, or 13 cent, to exit the session at €4.42.

Investors will be hoping for good performances today after the ECB confirmed yesterday that further concrete steps would be taken to quell the crisis.

Irish Independent

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