Business World

Friday 15 December 2017

ISEQ bounces back in results surge

Thomas Molloy

IRISH equities gained yesterday as a rake of companies posted results which helped to push up their share prices.

The benchmark ISEQ overall index advanced 15.77 points, or 0.5pc, to 2925.03 in Dublin yesterday. The biggest gainers were concrete maker Readymix and travel software company Datalex, which both soared 9.4pc after issuing results.

Resource companies also rebounded after recent knocks with Kenmare advancing 7.3pc to 50c and Dragon rising 4.4pc to €5.90. Ormonde, which also issued results yesterday, was up 2.1pc at 13c

Sandwich-maker Greencore fell 3.2pc to €1.17 after complaining about a more volatile environment and margins.

Ryanair trimmed recent losses, advancing 1.3pc to €3.30, after the airline vowed to fight restrictions on flying in Scotland and Irish authorities said there would be no ban on flying for at least 24 hours. Tullow Oil gained 0.7pc in London but fell 1.5pc in Dublin as the company announced that it would spend €300m to buy oil fields in Dutch waters in the North Sea.

Shares rose elsewhere in Europe with national benchmark indexes gaining in 14 of the 18 western European markets. France's CAC 40 index climbed 0.3pc.

Germany's DAX index and the UK's FTSE 100 index both increased 0.4pc as commodities rallied and a report showed that US new-home sales increased more than forecast last month.

German business confidence remained unexpectedly unchanged in May as booming exports and rising company spending boosted economic growth.

"Even if economic growth isn't as strong, in the long term commodity stocks always tend to go higher," said Jacques Porta, a Paris-based fund manager at Ofi Patrimoine.

"I'm overweight on them. Everyone is. It's a story of supply and demand. Emerging markets are big consumers of commodities."

BHP Billiton climbed 1.8pc as copper, lead, zinc and aluminum advanced in London. Rio Tinto increased 2pc and Xstrata rose 1.7pc. A gauge of basic resource shares was the second-best performing of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600.

Greek stocks advanced after the government announced a stepped-up plan to sell holdings in companies, including Hellenic Telecoms Organisation. It soared 4.3pc. Hellenic Postbank surged 5pc after the government said it may sell all its 34pc stake in the lender this year.

Marks & Spencer Group declined 2.9pc. The UK's largest clothing retailer said the outlook for the economy remains challenging as consumers continue to experience a squeeze on their disposable incomes. The company reported fiscal full-year underlying pre-tax profit of £714.3m (€819.2) beating the analysts' estimate of £711m.

Irish Independent

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