Business World

Saturday 17 March 2018

AIB big winner as sentiment improves

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares jumped yesterday, as the rollercoaster ride on the global markets continued.

By the close of trading, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 1.63pc, or 39.4 points, at 2,449.24.

The index lurched from a big gain to a big loss before moving back to positive territory by the end of the day. A drop in jobless claims in the US helped shore up sentiment across markets.

In percentage terms, the biggest winner was Allied Irish Banks, which jumped more than 35pc. Building materials company Kingspan was the star of the day, however, climbing 8.44pc to €6.40.

United Drug soared after the medical distribution company said profits and revenue so far this year were in line with expectations.

Kenmare Resources regained some earlier losses, rising 14.99pc, while C&C was boosted by encouraging data on the cider market from AB InBev.

The stock closed up 0.71pc at €3.14. Despite the generally better trading environment, the food sector was hit by fears over higher input costs. Kerry Group fell 0.71pc to €25.22, while Glanbia slipped 1.55pc to €3.80. Aryzta tumbled 8.4pc to €31.20.

European stocks also rose, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index surging the most since May 2010, as investors speculated that recent losses had overestimated the slowdown in the pace of economic growth.


National benchmark indices rose in every western European market except Denmark and Greece yesterday. The UK's FTSE 100 Index increased 3.1pc and Germany's DAX Index soared 3.3pc. France's CAC 40 Index climbed 2.9pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index jumped 3.2pc.

"Shares look cheap," said Henrik Drusebjerg, a senior strategist at Nordea Bank in Copenhagen. "There's no news out there suggesting investors should worry any more or less than yesterday."

Societe Generale jumped 3.7pc. Chief executive Frederic Oudea asked France's market watchdog on Wednesday to investigate moves in the lender's share price.

The cost of insuring the senior debt of France's second largest bank climbed 42bps to 379bps, according to CMA prices for credit-default swaps.

A gauge of bank stocks in the Stoxx 600 advanced 3.9pc. Banca Popolare di Milano jumped 10pc, rebounding from Wednesday's 8.9pc loss. A measure of commodity companies gained 4.5pc, the best performance of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600.

ThyssenKrupp, Germany's biggest steelmaker, jumped 8.1pc as copper, lead, nickel, tin, and zinc all rallied on the London Metal Exchange. Zurich Financial Services soared 10pc as Switzerland's largest insurer posted second-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates.

Irish Independent

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