Sunday 25 February 2018

Irish shares post mild recovery

Mark Keenan

Mark Keenan

IRISH shares rose yesterday as markets posted a mild recovery from last week's turmoil.

On the day, the ISEQ Overall Index rose 0.56pc, or 16.83 points, to 3,031.09.

Trading was calm thanks largely to encouraging noises from China about growth and the G8 weekend summit of the eight leading economies which emphasised a preference to keep Greece in the eurozone.

Ryanair was the big mover on the day. The stock nosedived after the airline surprised markets with a downbeat forecast for the new trading year but recovered in late trading to finish up 0.4pc at €4.04.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary warned about unsettled economic conditions in Europe and increasing fuel costs and predicted a 20pc fall in profits for the full year 2012/13.

Elsewhere most Irish stocks were calm. Exceptions included the Irish-led bakery Aryzta which increased by 2.77pc to €37, in the process making up some previously lost ground. Kerry Group slipped 0.97pc to €33.14.

Smurfit Kappa continued to sail south, losing 2.22pc to reach €5.55 after Friday saw it shed 7.4pc amid continued fears its boxes and packaging products, demand for which is linked to consumer good sales, could be affected by a downturn in European consumer demand.

Construction giant CRH treaded water finishing up 0.62pc at €13.82.

Growth call

Meanwhile, a call for growth from Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and the G8's pledge for growth boosted stocks across Europe.

National benchmark indices climbed in 12 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 gained 0.7pc and Germany's DAX increased 1pc, while France's CAC 40 rose 0.6pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.5pc.

Premier Jiabao called for "putting stabilising growth in a more important position" and refrained from mentioning concern about inflation in remarks published yesterday -- while G8 leaders urged Greece to stay within the euro area ahead of general elections next month.

"There is going to be an element of bargain hunting as investors look to top up their holdings on the basis of slightly lower prices," said Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers in London.

"Politically, if not financially, the markets are kind of back to square one. If you take a more bottom-up approach, the picture is brighter."

Carmakers were among the biggest gainers yesterday. Renault rallied 4.7pc and Fiat accelerated by 8.6pc in its biggest gain in over two months.

Meanwhile, in the US, Facebook lost a lot of friends after shares in the social network plummeted 11pc to fall well below the $38 at which trading began on Friday.

Irish Independent

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