Wednesday 13 December 2017

CRH main winner as shares edge up despite political uncertainty

markets

Getty Images
Getty Images

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares rose marginally yesterday, shaking off concerns about Europe, as gains among some of the major stocks helped push the index higher for the day.

By the close of trading, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.6pc, or 15.74 points at 2,620.28.

The index rose as high as 2,630 early in the day but slipped back after French President Nicolas Sarkozy said talks on resolving the euro crisis had "stalled".

CRH was the main winner on the day, adding 3.78pc to close at €13.44. Traders seemed to be banking on the construction giant cashing in on any growth there may be in the US.

Specialist bakery giant Aryzta led the market, closing up 4.41pc at €33.85.

Aer Lingus continued to edge up to the €1 per share that Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said the Government would consider selling its stake at, climbing 2.04pc to reach 75c.

On the other side of the board, a variety of factors contributed to stocks sliding.

Cider maker C&C fell 4.05pc to €2.73 after the company announced chief executive John Dunsmore would step down at the end of the year. He will retain his shareholding in the company, however.

Smurfit Kappa Group lost 3.73pc to finish at €4.19.

Meanwhile, European stocks advanced for the first time in three days amid conflicting reports that France and Germany have reached a deal on expanding the euro area's rescue fund.

Positive

National benchmark indices climbed in 11 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 Index gained 0.7pc, France's CAC 40 Index increased 0.5pc and Germany's DAX Index advanced 0.6pc. The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.6pc as well. "The market seems to be in a positive frame of mind," said Andrea Williams, head of European equities at Royal London Asset Management.

"We are just waiting for the weekend for an announcement from European leaders. Sentiment is fairly fragile until we know exactly what the announcement will be and how they plan to execute it."

Tele2 added 2.2pc after Sweden's second biggest phone company reported quarterly profit, in line with estimates, as it expanded in Russia.

BSkyB gained 5.1pc after the UK's biggest pay-TV broadcaster reported a 16pc increase in first-quarter operating profit to £295m (€338m) as the company sold more products to its existing subscribers. That beat the average analyst estimate of £286.5m.

Diageo jumped 4pc after the world's largest distiller reported first-quarter sales that topped analyst forecasts, boosted by growth in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Alcatel-Lucent sank 7.7pc as analysts lowered their recommendations for the French phone-equipment maker to "neutral" and "underperform," respectively.

The shares earlier briefly erased losses after Alcatel said it received an offer from Permira Advisers for its Genesys business.

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