Sunday 19 November 2017

Mixed news for Irish shares after morning rally gives way to lunchtime dip

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

IRISH shares were down fractionally yesterday by mid-afternoon, in line with most of the major European stocks.

By lunchtime in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.17pc or 7.38 points to 4258.08. The Dublin market rose on opening but dipped as the morning progressed.

European stocks had climbed in the morning as investors digested the news that US President Barack Obama had postponed a decision on military action in Syria.

Asia shares also rose and US stocks fluctuated.

The laggards by early afternoon in Dublin included food ingredients company Kerry Group, which dropped 1.3pc to €44.82, while speciality baker Aryzta slipped 0.8pc to €49.20.

Bookmakers Paddy Power was down 0.2pc to €61.46, while drug company Elan was down 0.7pc to €11.50.

On the other side of the board, Independent News & Media led the leaders. Its share price rose 10pc to 6 cent and rose the most in two weeks after the Pensions Board approved a plan to narrow its pension deficit.

Independent News & Media said the agreement would reduce the pension deficit by about €110m.

The deal also clears the way for the company to raise €40m to pay down debt.

Packaging giant Smurfit Kappa rose 2.8pc to €16.81, while insurance giant FBD was up 0.7pc to €14.25.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3pc to 310.63 at 12:20 pm in London.

But the UK FTSE 100 had slid 0.1pc at 1.32pm in London; France's CAC40 was down 0.8pc at 1.23pm and Germany's DAX was bucking the trend, rising 0.6pc by the same time.

"Equity markets have had a good run so far this month," according to Stewart Richardson, the chief investment officer at RMG Wealth Management.

THREAT

"The recent run of upward closes has been helped by good Chinese data and the lessening of the threat in Syria.

"Markets need a new catalyst, and may drift sideways towards the Federal Reserve meeting next week," he said.

ARM Holdings, which designs chips for Apple's iPhones, extended a three-month high after the US company unveiled two new models of the device.

EON and RWE led a gauge of utilities higher.

Kingfisher retreated 2.4pc after first-half pretax profit missed analysts' estimates.

US stock-index futures were little changed, following six days of gains for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

Apple lost 2.7pc after the price of its new lower-cost iPhone 5C disappointed analysts.

Marriott International increased 1.1pc after a Chinese land developer said he wants to buy hotel-management companies in the US.

Irish Independent

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