Business Irish

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Markets close on the up as traders enjoy August start

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the stock exchange in Frankfurt. Photo: Reuters
Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the stock exchange in Frankfurt. Photo: Reuters

IRISH shares rose yesterday for the sixth day out of the last seven, as strong passenger numbers from Ryanair and an acquisition by Aryzta boosted the market.

By the close in Dublin the ISEQ Overall Index had added 1pc, or 69.79 points, to close at 6,701.15. That was the market's latest highest close since 2007. The market had started slowly but rose sharply in the morning session and continued to climb in the afternoon after a lunchtime dip.

Ryanair jumped 2.2pc to hit €13. That was the airline's highest ever closing price. It had earlier hit an intraday high of €13.05.

The Michael O'Leary-headed carrier released strong traffic numbers, with the load factor - a measure of how full its planes are - rising from 91pc to 95pc.

Aryzta added 2.1pc to hit €49. The Swiss-based speciality baker was reported to have agreed terms to buy a Hungarian bakery chain.

CRH added 2pc to close at €28.09. The construction materials giant, which accounts for about a quarter of the Dublin bourse, completed its buyout of peer HolcimLafarge's cement assets.

The deal makes CRH the third biggest player in that space, up from fifth. That was the highest close for the firm since 2008.

Permanent TSB enjoyed another good session, gaining 1.3pc to hit 5.15.

Dragon Oil, which is the subject of an ongoing takeover dispute, jumped 1.54pc to hit €11.51.

On the other side of the market, AIB slumped 4.5pc. The bank reports half-year numbers tomorrow.

FBD continued its poor run, dropping 1.9pc to €7.31.

The good news continued across Europe, with most markets in positive territory, although as might be expected volumes were relatively light.

The FTSE 100 rose 0.98pc in London, while the CAC 40 in Paris gained 1.7pc. Frankfurt's Dax Index increased 1.6pc, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index close up 1.3pc.

Legal & General Group Plc added 2.8pc after the biggest manager of UK pension assets reported first-half earnings that beat analysts' estimates. London Stock Exchange Group gained 1.6pc after posting higher-than-forecast first-half operating profit. BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Group led a gauge of miners to a second day of gains.

Standard Chartered Plc rose 0.2pc, after earlier gaining as much as 6.5pc, as its chief executive officer vowed to boost returns and signalled it may not need to raise capital after first-half profit slid 44pc. The Bank of England will announce its decision on interest rates today.

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