Sunday 25 March 2018

Broad-based buying boosts ISEQ

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares rose marginally yesterday, as broad-based buying drove equities up, even as Greece appeared to move closer to a default, keeping the yield on Irish bonds higher.

By the close of trading the ISEQ Overall Index was up 14.88 points, or 0.51pc, at 2,921.55. The index rose from early on and remained in positive territory for the rest of the day.

Greece continued to appear to teeter on a default; with S&P having made the country the worst-rated one in the world. Despite that, Mario Draghi -- the prohibitive favourite to take over as head of the ECB -- warned against imposing losses on private investors as a way of resolving the Greek crisis.

Bond yields here stayed close to Monday's records, with the 10-year yield hitting 10.9pc.

Traders shook off those worries, however, with CRH recording a strong day after good consumer sales figures in the US. The construction giant climbed 1.95pc to €14.55 by the close.

Dragon Oil added 0.96pc to reach €5.88 while Elan rose 0.33pc to close at €7.36.

On the other side of the board, Providence Resources handed back yesterday's gains, losing 6.82pc to close at €2.80 while Total Produce slipped back to 40c -- a loss of 6.28pc.

Travel software company Datalex tumbled 10.53pc to 34c.

Across the continent stocks rose, giving the Stoxx Europe 600 Index its first back-to-back gains in three weeks as Chinese industrial production and US retail sales topped forecasts.

National benchmark indices advanced in all of the 18 western European markets, except Iceland. The UK's FTSE 100 gained 0.5pc, France's CAC 40 rallied 1.5pc and Germany's DAX advanced 1.7pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 rallied 0.8pc.

"The consolidation phase in equities is close to its end," Andrew Garthwaite, the head of global strategy at Credit Suisse in London, wrote in a report. "We continue to be fundamentally bullish." Mr Garthwaite increased his tactical allocation in stocks to "overweight".

China's industrial production rose more than estimated in May, while inflation accelerated to the fastest pace in almost three years.

Nokia climbed 1.6pc after agreeing to settle all patent litigation with Apple in a deal that awards a one-off payment and royalties to the Finnish maker of mobile phones.

Glencore International, the world's largest listed commodities trader, dropped 4.5pc even after saying first-quarter profit increased. The earnings were "disappointing", said Paul Cliff, an analyst at Nomura.

Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation fell 1.9pc as Glencore said it isn't planning a bid for the producer of metals in Kazakhstan.

ITV climbed 4.4pc after Liberum Capital reiterated its "buy" recommendation, saying the selloff was "overdone" and the company's balance sheet enables it to return "significant levels of cash to shareholders".

Irish Independent

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