Saturday 17 March 2018

Gold strike adds shine to trading

AIB advanced 6.3pc to 40c. photo: Bloomberg News
AIB advanced 6.3pc to 40c. photo: Bloomberg News
Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

IRISH shares rose slightly, led by banks and gold miners, following a discovery in Armagh.

The ISEQ closed up 9.42 points, or 0.4pc, at 2723.13 points as the banks pared some recent losses. Allied Irish advanced 6.3pc to 40c, while Bank of Ireland closed up 3.1pc at 63c and Irish Life & Permanent ended the session 3.1pc higher at 1.60.

Conroy Diamonds and Gold surged 7.7pc to 14c after the company said it has made further gold finds in Armagh. Ovoca Gold jumped 24pc to 41c, while explorer Kenmare pared recent declines by rising 9.1pc to 21c following last week's news that a dam had burst at the company's mine in Mozambique.

Shares in developer Real Estate Opportunities plunged 52pc to 3.2c after the company said it will defer all payments to the holder of a loan note until May 31 and added that it will make a further announcement about the terms of the financial restructuring.

European shares rose in line with their Dublin counterparts which helped push some benchmarks to a two-week closing high yesterday on persistent talk the US Federal Reserve will step up efforts to support the economy.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closed 0.3pc higher at 1,074.33 points, but trading was subdued due to the Columbus Day holiday in the US where the stock market was trading but the bond market was closed.

"Markets are in a good mood but volumes are low because of Columbus Day. Apart from that we're waiting for corporate results this week for the next move," said Simon Clark, senior trader at ETX Capital.

Across Europe, Britain's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 rose between 0.1pc and 0.3pc.

Individual gainers in Europe included Franco-Belgian financial group Dexia, which added 6.2pc ahead of an investor day today which could shed light on a possible tie up.

Swedish firm Electrolux rose 4.2pc after the company agreed in principle to buy Egypt's Olympic Group, the biggest appliance maker in the Middle East and North Africa.

Investors are likely to focus on major US corporate results due later this week, including quarterly earnings from Intel and JP Morgan.

Analysts said the outlook for companies looked relatively bright, while not holding the promise of the strong gains in profitability seen earlier this year.

"The winter worries will create a difficult backdrop for developed market equities to push ahead further from the very strong (share price) gains that we saw in the third quarter and investors need to increasingly think about switching exposure to faster-growing emerging markets equities," said Henk Potts, equity strategist at Barclays Wealth.

Irish Independent

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