Thursday 22 February 2018

ISEQ bucks trend as European stocks suffer drop


John Mulligan

John Mulligan

After rebounding on Thursday, European markets shed gains yesterday.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's said that austerity measures were likely to force many eurozone economies into larger than previously anticipated contractions next year. The bad news from S&P failed to drag down US markets by late yesterday, however. They were buoyed by news that inflation in the US has remained stable after the price of petrol there fell.

But even as most European markets declined, the ISEQ Overall Index managed to buck the trend.

It had been off earlier during the session, but managed to claw back those losses to enter the weekend 0.67pc, or 18.12 points higher at 2,726.4. Food groups were among the main movers yesterday. Aryzta climbed 2.47pc, or 88 cent, to end the day at €36, while Greencore rose 2.4pc to 63 cent.

Greencore shares have declined from as high as 75 cent in November, when it was engaged in talks that could have, but didn't, lead to it being acquired.

But this week, analysts at Shore Capital in London insisted that Greencore was "significantly undervalued", saying the valuations placed on it were treating the business more as one in distress rather than as one trading reasonably well. They have placed a €1 target on the stock.

Other gainers yesterday included ferry group ICG. It advanced 1.03pc, or 15 cent, to €14.65. Drug group Elan breached the €9 barrier, adding 2.8pc, or 25 cent, to €9.15.

Decliners on the ISEQ yesterday included Bank of Ireland, which lost 2.5pc to close at 7.8 cent. Mining firm Kenmare Resources declined almost 2pc to 49.4 cent.

National benchmark indices fell in 13 of the 18 western European markets. France's CAC 40 lost 0.9pc, Germany's DAX dropped 0.5pc and the UK's FTSE 100 declined 0.3pc.

Peugeot fell 1.7pc to €11.81 and Fiat yielded 2.6pc to €3.43, after the two companies led the biggest decline in European car sales in five months. Michelin, the world's second-largest tyre maker, lost 2.9pc to €42.94.

Vehicle registrations in Europe during November fell 3pc from a year earlier, the biggest decline since June, according to the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Klepierre, Europe's second-largest shopping-centre owner, increased 6pc to €20.65 after chief executive Laurent Morel said he expected a "good Christmas" for his company.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Promoted Links

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business