Business World

Sunday 18 February 2018

ISEQ ends week on positive note as it follows Europe upwards

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

IRISH shares rose fractionally yesterday in line with the major European stocks.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.22pc, or 9.45 points, to close the trading day at 4,225.38.

Trading was mixed but the market closed in the black for the second day in a row and in positive territory compared to the end of the previous week.

The positive end to the week was in keeping with the picture across Europe, where stocks rose to a three-week high.

The leaders included Bank of Ireland which closed up 1.8pc to 23 cent despite a report that the bank may tap shareholders again for cash within months as it seeks to repay €1.8bn of its government bailout.

Chief executive Richie Boucher said this week he would tell investors as soon as possible how it would refinance state- owned preferred shares that mature in March.

A share sale may happen by the year-end, according to Emmet Gaffney, a Dublin-based analyst with Investec Bank.

Swiss-based specialty baker Aryzta climbed 0.8pc to €48.08, while packaging giant Smurfit Kappa closed up 0.6pc to €16.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included recruitment firm CPL Resources, which fell 3.3pc to €5.80, a day after it delivered a bumper set of full-year figures.

Food ingredients giant Kerry Group slid 1.2pc to €47.40, while insurance company FBD dropped 0.8pc to €14.20.

Elsewhere, European stocks completed their biggest weekly gain since April as investors bet that any tapering of Federal Reserve stimulus will be more gradual than previously thought.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.5pc at the close of trading in London.

National benchmark indexes rose in 14 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 added 0.2pc, France's CAC 40 climbed 1.1pc and Germany's DAX advanced 0.5pc.

"Investors are thinking tapering will be gradual and not as steep as would be the case if payrolls data were stronger," said Manish Singh, investment manager at Crossbridge Capital in London. "The Fed is looking to exit quantitative easing by mid-2014. The longer the Fed takes to start tapering, the less time it has to complete it and bigger the size of each instalment. A small start in September seems more sensible."

German electric company RWE and UK electric company E.ON rallied as a study by a German government adviser fuelled speculation of higher electricity prices.

Irish Independent

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