Business World

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Amryt leads the way with strong gains

An advertisement poster promoting China's renminbi (RMB) or yuan , US dollar and Euro exchange services is seen outside at foreign exchange store in Hong Kong
An advertisement poster promoting China's renminbi (RMB) or yuan , US dollar and Euro exchange services is seen outside at foreign exchange store in Hong Kong

Sean Duffy

The Iseq overall index of Irish shares was up 38.5 points or 0.57pc on Monday, closing at 6,750.78.

Skincare drug manufacturer Amryt Pharma rose by 7.8pc to finish the day with the highest gains. Financial firm IFG rose by 3.1pc, while insurance group FBD advanced by 1.9pc. Irish carrier Ryanair was up 1.3pc.

Permanent TSB fell by 0.8pc, hotel group Dalata dropped 0.7pc ,while shares in Bank of Ireland were down by 0.4pc.

US stocks were set to gain the most in nearly two weeks late on Monday morning as higher oil prices lifted energy stocks, while investors braced for big banks to kick off the first-quarter earnings season later in the week.

JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo are scheduled to report earnings on Thursday and could throw some light on the US banking industry's performance amid a rally in financial shares since the election of US President Donald Trump.

Oil prices rose more than 1pc, with US crude hitting a more than one-month high, supported by a Libyan oilfield shut-down, tension over a US missile strike on Syria and signs that an Opec-led output cut is helping to clear excess supplies.

Investors are keenly watching the quarterly earnings to justify lofty market valuations, following the post-election rally sparked off by bets that Trump would introduce pro-growth policies.

Earnings of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 10.1pc in the first three months of the year, the most since the fourth-quarter of 2014. "The financial sector has been a darling performer since the election and we've seen some of that performance retreat in the last couple of weeks," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at US Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

"So what the banks report and what their guidance is will be the primary driver for equity prices over the next week or two," he added.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Irish Independent

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