Saturday 24 March 2018

Gains put recovery back on track

Nokia, rose 2.6pc after claims its new N8 handset will 'kick-start' its comeback. Photo: Bloomberg News
Nokia, rose 2.6pc after claims its new N8 handset will 'kick-start' its comeback. Photo: Bloomberg News

Thomas Molloy

IRISH shares jumped yesterday as markets in all 18 west European countries posted gains following unexpected growth in Europe's manufacturing and services industries and rising UK retail sales, easing concern that the economic recovery may be faltering.

The ISEQ Overall Index soared 64.48 points, or 2.2pc, to 2937.59 points as heavyweight CRH, the banks, Elan and Icon all recorded gains following recent losses.

CRH, which accounts for one third of the index, rose 4.3pc to €16.33 after data suggested demand in Europe is stronger than feared .

A composite index based on a survey of euro-area services and manufacturing purchasing managers increased to 56.7 in July from 56 last month, Markit Economics said.

"The PMI manufacturing data showed that we're making some progress, giving the market a bit of hope," said Markus Wallner, senior equity strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. "We don't see any double dip in the future".

Bank of Ireland advanced 3.4pc to 72c while Allied Irish was up 2pc at 90c amid reports that both banks have passed the stress tests due to be unveiled by European regulators tomorrow.

Clinical trials company Icon closed up 3.7pc at €21.41, paring heavy losses earlier, as the company was raised to "buy" from "add" at AlphaValue by equity analyst Armelle Moulin.


Elan rose 1.3pc to €3.93 after it reported an improved performance for the second quarter, though its financial results were affected by the $206.3m it paid to settle claims after a US investigation of the way it marketed a medicine..

Zamano, a tiny maker of apps for smart phones, slumped 14.4pc to 6c following a profit warning while Dragon Oil closed down 1pc at €5.16 after disappointing results.

Elsewhere in Europe, most shares gained pushing the Stoxx Europe 600 Index up 2.1pc by the close of trading in London. All 19 industry groups advanced. The UK's FTSE 100 rose 1.9pc, Germany's DAX advanced 2.5pc and France's CAC 40 increased 3.1pc.

Nokia, rose 2.6pc after claims its new N8 handset will "kick-start" its comeback. Autonomy, the UK software company, plunged 9.1pc after second-quarter gross margins declined.

Unibail-Rodamco surged 5.4pc after Europe's largest publicly traded property company announced a plan to distribute €1.8bn to investors.

Danish wind turbine maker Vestas climbed 3.8pc after it said it will supply 190 turbines to Terra-Gen Power's Alta Wind Energy Centre in California while UK-based Capita rallied 3.8pc after chief executive Paul Pindar said the company that provides a criminal records service for the UK Home Office aims to win more public-sector contracts next year as the government trims costs.

Irish Independent

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