Saturday 20 January 2018

Banks help ISEQ add 10 points to halt five-day losing streak

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares rose yesterday, breaking a five-day losing streak, as a strong performance by the banks boosted the market.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index had added 0.28pc, or 9.82 points, to close at 3,461.86.

The market stuttered early but then trended up for the rest of the day. A late sell-off, however, reduced the final gain.

In percentage terms, Allied Irish Banks led the market, climbing 13.1pc to finnish at 7c.

A Greek businessman was convicted in London of defrauding the lender of millions of euro.

Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan told the Oireachtas Finance Committee the banks could need more capital if they don't write off more home loans from the boom. His comments echoed analysis from the ratings agency S&P, which was also released yesterday.

Permanent TSB rose 7.1pc to end yesterday at 4c.

Dragon Oil continued its good form from Tuesday, adding 2pc to close at €6.96. The Kurdistan focused explorer said on Tuesday it had increased production.

Glanbia added 1.3pc to reach €8.21. The firm's milk processing business – Glanbia Ingredients Ireland – is in talks with Wexford Creamery to widen the scope of a partnership the two firms already have.

Ryanair added 1.3pc to end the day at €5.34. The carrier confirmed it will open new bases in Morocco.

On the other side of the board, C&C slid 1.7pc to €4.47 after the cider maker said full-year profits will be at the lower end of guidance.

Elsewhere, European stocks were little changed, erasing an earlier retreat for the region's benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index, as US industrial production climbed and Goldman Sachs' earnings topped estimates.

The Stoxx 600 rose less than 0.1pc yesterday, while national benchmark indices rose in 12 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 Index fell 0.2pc, and France's CAC 40 added 0.3pc. Germany's DAX rose 0.2pc.

"Things have improved, compared to last year the world looks better," said Sebastian Paris-Horvitz, chief market strategist at HSBC Private Bank.

"I do believe in the rotation towards equities; it looks better value for the future and is the reason we have been advocating the move toward riskier assets."

US industrial production climbed 0.3pc in December, for a second month of gains. Confidence among US homebuilders held at the highest level in more than six years in January, adding to evidence that residential real estate will help spur economic growth.

New York

Goldman Sachs, the fifth-biggest US bank, rallied in New York trading after fourth-quarter net income almost tripled.

Of the 39 companies in the S&P 500 Index to have released fourth-quarter earnings, nearly three-quarters have been analysts' expectations.

Anglo American, the world's largest platinum producer, dropped 3.1pc after the ANC called on the South African government to withdraw mining licences from Anglo's Amplats unit.

The business, also known as Anglo American Platinum, said it will idle four shafts in South Africa, cutting production of the precious metal by 400,000 ounces a year and firing as many as 14,000 workers.

Lonmin, the third-largest platinum producer, tumbled 5.7pc. KappAhl jumped 17pc after Sweden's second-biggest publicly traded clothing retailer reported first-quarter well ahead of forecasts.

Societe Generale slid 2.8pc, a second day of losses. Cheuvreux downgraded the French bank to underperform, the equivalent of sell, from outperform.

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