Sunday 18 March 2018

Best week in three years for shares on euro hopes


SHARES on the Dublin market bounced upwards yesterday in tandem with those on other markets. The rises meant global equity markets were heading for their best week in three years amid hopes of a resolution to the eurozone debt crisis.

Traders were buoyed when the monthly US jobs report came in line with expectations.

And the co-ordinated action of six major central banks to reduce the cost of dollar funding provoked a major rally on the final day of the month.

The ISEQ index of shares finished up 23.79 points, or 0.88pc, to 2,733.57. This means the index kept up the good run it had in November. Last month the ISEQ gained 0.9pc after climbing 4.8pc on Wednesday, the final day of the month.

The ISEQ outperformed other indices despite Irish financials continuing to have a torrid time, falling 10.7pc in November despite recovering 19.9pc over the final five days. Industrials fared better, gaining 1.6pc on the month.

Yesterday was another positive day for the Irish market. Kerry Group confirmed it had completed the acquisition of US-based Cargill's global flavours business. Kerry's shares fell 42c to €26.55.

Bank of Ireland rose 6pc to 8.7c after Finance Minister Michael Noonan dropped plans to wipe out the bank's remaining subordinated bondholders, and the lender said it was set to complete its recapitalisation by raising €350m from the buyback of mortgage-backed securities.


Paddy Power continued its strong run with the shares gaining 0.48pc to €40. Competitor Ladbrokes yesterday said it had signed new five-year banking facilities totalling £540m.

European stocks climbed with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index extending its largest weekly rally since November 2008 after a report showed that the US unemployment rate fell below 9pc last month.

Commerzbank AG rose 11pc after a report that the lender had a plan to shore up its capital without state aid.

The Stoxx 600 rose 0.9pc to 240.51 at the close in London.

The benchmark has rallied 8.6pc this week, its biggest advance in three years, as the European Central Bank and five other central banks lowered the cost of dollar funding, China cut its reserve-requirement ratio for banks, and US consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in November.

"What is exciting is that the US unemployment rate has fallen to 8.6pc," said Markus Huber, head of German sales trading at ETX Capital in London.

"It might improve economic sentiment ahead of Christmas."

Irish Independent

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