Monday 23 April 2018

Greece is the word as ISEQ falls

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares fell yesterday, snapping a four-day winning streak, as negative corporate news hit trading while scepticism began to take hold the Greek bailout may not put an end to the country's debt issues.

By the close in Dublin the ISEQ Overall Index had fallen 0.73pc, or 23.54 points, to close at 3,183.72.

The index was on a steady downward trend for most of the session before a brief recovery got the index back over 3,180 by the close.

Most major stocks fell. Elan led the market lower, closing at €9.17 for a loss of 4.52pc. The pharmaceuticals giant has now fallen eight days out of the past 11.

Kerry Group closed down 0.96pc at €30.80. The food and ingredients giant posted strong annual profits and a higher dividend but profits at the Consumer Foods arm of the business struggled against higher input costs and aggressive price cutting, hitting overall margins.

Dragon Oil slid 1.54pc to €6.60. The Turkmenistan- focused oil and gas explorer said international sanctions against Iran may make it "more difficult" for the explorer to make payments for a rig operating in the Caspian Sea.

Tullow Oil was another commodities firm to struggle during yesterday's session. The firm fell 4.22pc to €18.39 after Anadarko did not give an estimate of how much reserves were in place at a well it operates in Sierra Leone. Tullow have a 20pc share of the Jupiter-1 well.

Few stocks made significant gains yesterday but illmenite miner Kenmare Resources surged 8.31pc to 73c. The Mozambique focused firm has been regularly mentioned as a possible takeover target.

Elsewhere, European stocks fell from a six-month high amid speculation a Greek bailout deal won't be sufficient to solve the nation's debt crisis.

National benchmark indices dropped in all of the western European markets. France's CAC 40 fell 0.2pc and Germany's DAX slid 0.6pc, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index declined 0.3pc.

"There's an element of travelling is better than arriving," said Gerard Lane, an equity strategist at Shore Capital in Liverpool. "There wasn't anything surprising and there's still a degree of doubt about whether the agreement holds because the conditions for Greece to meet are still quite difficult," he said.

The odds that Greece will remain encumbered by debt were illustrated by an analysis by European and International Monetary Fund officials that highlighted, as a worst-case scenario, that Greece's debt might balloon to 160pc of GDP by 2020.

ICAP, the world's largest inter-dealer broker, gained 1.6pc after saying it will buy Singapore-based Island Shipbrokers to expand in Asia.

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business