Business World

Thursday 22 February 2018

Dublin gains but Ukraine concerns weigh on markets across the continent

The Irish Stock Exchange logo is displayed at the entrance to the headquarters in Dublin
The Irish Stock Exchange logo is displayed at the entrance to the headquarters in Dublin
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares finished the week on the up on Friday, even as geopolitical concerns weighed on markets across Europe.

By the close in Dublin the ISEQ Overall Index had added 0.3pc, or 13.19 points, to close at 4,672.59.

That was the fifth straight day of green numbers for the ISEQ and meant the market added 3.1pc for the week, having opened on Monday at 4,530.97.

In percentage terms the big winner was Providence Resources. The oil and gas explorer posted a 19pc increase to €1.64 on heavy trading. Earlier this week it had started a seismic survey at its Spanish Point prospect. It has also been mooted as a takeover target in the past.

Aer Lingus jumped 4.8pc to €1.37. Businessman Denis O'Brien sold his 2.4pc stake in the former flag carrier.

Banana giant Fyffes added 1.7pc to 93c after Chiquita decided to back Fyffes' merger offer instead of a rival bid.

Three times as many shares rose as fell in Dublin on Friday, but of the major stocks, Paddy Power was the main laggard. The bookmaker fell 0.6pc to €52.15. The shares are down 9pc in the last year.

In contrast to Ireland, national benchmark indices fell in 11 of the 15 exchanges that were open on Friday across western Europe. France's CAC 40 Index dropped 0.7pc, and the DAX lost 1.4pc. The UK's FTSE 100 Index gained less than 0.1pc, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.4pc.

Markets erased gains in the final hour of trading, after Ukraine said its troops partially destroyed a military convoy that entered the country from Russia. That has raised fears of a greater conflagration in the east of the continent.

"The big issue for markets is proof of the credibility of those reports out of the 
crisis area," said Guillermo Sampere at MPPM in Eppstein, Germany.

"Any escalation is driving investors to risk-off mode."

Irish Independent

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