Saturday 20 July 2019

ISEQ climbs as Fed chief makes stimulus pledge

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares rose yesterday, ending the week on a high, as markets looked forward to central banks around the world maintaining stimulus measures.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index had added 0.41pc, or 16.62 points, to close at 4,054.79. On the week the market added 32.81 points, having opened at 4,021.98.

Speaking after European markets closed, US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke played down any suggestion that the Fed would "taper" its current round of quantitative easing, saying the stimulus measures would continue for sometime yet.

Irish Continental Group led the Dublin market. The owner of Irish Ferries added 4.9pc to close at €23.20. Packaging firm Smurfit Kappa Group rose 3.2pc to hit €14. Kenmare Resources bounced back from recent losses to end the day up 1.1pc at 27c, while Bank of Ireland climbed 1.8pc to finish the week at 17c. On the other side of the board, Paddy Power fell 2.4pc, while Glanbia slipped 1.2pc to €10.20.

Elsewhere, European stocks were little changed from a five-week high, as investors awaited US earnings next week, while merger and acquisition activity offset a sell-off in Spanish utility companies.

National benchmark indices climbed in eight of the 18 western-European markets yesterday. The UK's FTSE 100 rose less than 0.1pc while Germany's DAX climbed 0.7pc. France's CAC 40 dropped 0.4pc and the Stoxx Europe 600 lost 0.1pc.

Invensys jumped 15pc after Schneider Electric, the world's largest maker of low- and medium-voltage equipment, offered to buy the British company.

Swedish Match gained 2.6pc in Stockholm amid speculation that Imperial Tobacco may make a bid for the maker of smokeless-tobacco products.

Daimler jumped 6.2pc. The world's third-largest maker of luxury cars posted second-quarter profit that beat analyst predictions following the sale of its final holding in the parent firm of planemaker Airbus.

PSA Peugeot Citroen rallied 4.2pc to its highest price in a year, amid speculation the carmaker may form an alliance and succeed in a turnaround.

Reckitt Benckiser declined 5.1pc after CVS removed the film version of the company's opioid-dependency drug Suboxone from its list of covered medications.

Irish Independent

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