Tuesday 20 February 2018

ISEQ close to five-year high

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

THE benchmark ISEQ index came close to a new five-year high yesterday as positive sentiment on both sides of the Atlantic lifted shares.

It closed up 82.84 points, or 2.1pc, at 4,097.53, a few points below the 4,118.68 reached in May. The index has jumped 27pc this year. That was better than most other national benchmarks, though they advanced in all of the 18 western European markets except Norway. Germany's DAX and the UK's FTSE 100 rallied 1pc, while France's CAC 40 rose 1.4pc.

The benchmark was helped by Ryanair which soared 3.6pc to €7.33 as analysts speculated that good weather will drive tourists overseas. C&C, which makes drinks such as cider, also did well, with shares closing up 3.3pc at €4.09. INM advanced 3.1pc to 6.7 cents to cement its position as the best-performing stock on the exchange. Grafton advanced 2.7pc to €5.54 as analysts speculated that its chain of Woodies DIY stores might gain from Homebase closing three stores near Woodies rivals.


European stocks climbed to a six-week high as Publicis Groupe posted increased profit, London Stock Exchange reported higher revenue and fewer Americans than forecast filed jobless benefit claims.

Publicis, the world's third-biggest advertising company, advanced 3.4pc and LSE surged to a five-year high. Banca Popolare di Milano Scrl, Italy's oldest co-operative bank, and Spain's Bankinter led a rally in financial companies.

Ericsson, the biggest maker of wireless-network equipment, and Nokia retreated more than 2.5pc as sales missed estimates.

BioMerieux jumped 3.8pc, the largest gain in eight months. The French maker of tests for HIV and hepatitis reported sales for the first half of €754m.

Akzo Nobel tumbled 8pc, the biggest slide since 2008. Europe's largest paintmaker reported a 14pc decline in second-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation to €474m. Sales fell 4pc to €3.87bn.

Orkla, the Norwegian industrial conglomerate transforming itself into a consumer-goods producer, slumped 11pc.

Irish Independent

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