Friday 23 March 2018

Smurfit Kappa approach lifts shares

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

A takeover approach for packaging group Smurfit Kappa by US-based International Paper lifted shares in the whole sector on Tuesday, providing a boost to the ISEQ and to London's main FTSE share index.

Smurfit Kappa's Irish-listed shares jumped 18.3pc to €33.86 each after the company said the proposal from International Paper failed to reflect its growth prospects and the industry's attractive outlook.

Its London-listed shares closed up 19.6pc, their biggest ever one-day jump. The company is Europe's largest producer of paper-based packaging.

It helped lift the Iseq 1.35pc to 6,701.02.

World share markets regained ground on Tuesday as news that the United States and North Korea will meet for talks next month came on top of hopes that US President Donald Trump's political allies would convince him to avoid a global trade war.

Top US Republicans, including House speaker Paul Ryan, urged Trump not to go ahead with tariffs.

MSCI's All Country World Index was up more than 0.6pc for a second day and Wall Street looked set for its third rise running as the rebound gathered momentum.

Europe's mood was also supported after Germany reformed its coalition government to end more than five months in political limbo and as the initial unease caused by a hefty election vote for anti-establishment parties in Italy ebbed.

Italian bonds outperformed and shares in Milan bounced almost 1.5pc, having slipped to a six-month low after its weekend vote.

Europe's big three - Britain's FTSE, Germany's Dax and France's Cac - were up 0.5pc to 1pc too, while the euro and pound both climbed as the dollar lost its footing again.

Irish Independent

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