Business Irish

Saturday 20 January 2018

Telecoms boost European shares

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

European bourses were modestly buoyed yesterday by activity in telecoms companies despite economic data from the US and Europe that fell shy of expectations.

In Germany, where Angela Merkel has retained power, the Ifo Institute's business climate index rose to 107.7 in September from a revised 107.6 in August. The latest figure had been expected to be 108.

In the US, a consumer confidence index fell to 79.7 in September from a revised 81.8 in August. The reading had been anticipated to slip to just 79.9.

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index rose in line with most other gainers in Europe, advancing just 0.43pc, or 18.46 points, to close at 4,273.12

Bank of Ireland had barely budged by the end of the session. It announced plans yesterday to raise €500m via a seven-year covered bond – the first such extended bond to be issued by an Irish financial institution since the financial crisis began five years ago.

Shares in the bank closed up only 0.47pc higher at 21.5 cent.

Other movers included Ryanair, which advanced 1.9pc, or 12 cent, to €6.42. Aer Lingus dropped just over 3pc to €1.51.

There were solid gains made by companies including insulation maker Kingspan, which advanced 1.3pc to €12.41, while investment vehicle TVC advanced 7.3pc to 60 cent after it said it has halted its current share buyback programme but may restart it at a later date.

In the UK, shares in Greencore closed up 2.1pc at £1.40 having spent most of the day in the red. United Drug also did well, with its shares climbing 3.2pc to £3.33.

National benchmark indices advanced in 14 out of 18 western-European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 rose 0.2pc and Germany's DAX added 0.3pc, while France's CAC 40 gained 0.6pc. Telecom Italia climbed 1.7pc to 60 cent. Telefonica agreed to pay €324m to increase its stake in Telco, a holding company that owns 22.4pc of Telecom Italia, to 66pc from 46pc.

Nokia, the Finnish phonemaker that has agreed to sell its handsets business to Microsoft, climbed 2.4pc to €4.91. HTC infringed on two patent rights held by Nokia, US International Trade Commission Judge Thomas Pender said this week.

Irish Independent

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