Monday 16 December 2019

ISEQ enjoys Europe-wide boost

Local companies such as CRH and the airlines did well yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Local companies such as CRH and the airlines did well yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

Thomas Molloy

SHARES enjoyed a good day yesterday as markets welcomed signs that the services industry in the US is doing well and local companies such as CRH and the airlines did well.

The ISEQ closed above the 2,700 level for the first time in nine sessions, after adding 41.61 points, or 1.6pc.

National benchmark indexes rose in all of the other 17 western European markets except for Iceland. Germany's DAX gained 1.3pc, while France's CAC 40 jumped 2.3pc and the FTSE 100 increased 1.4pc.

Aminex was the biggest riser, adding 14.6pc to 11c after the oil and gas firm said on Monday that further drilling in the Upper Wilcox sands area at its Shoats Creek, Louisiana prospect is likely.

Irish Life & Permanent rose 5.9pc to €1.45, amid reports that home values dropped 3.9pc in the three months through September from the second quarter, when they fell 3.4pc.

Aer Lingus also had a good day, advancing 4.8pc to €1.10, as British Airways soared to a two-year high because passenger traffic rose last month by the most in more than two years. Rival Ryanair also did well, rising 3.1pc to €4.01 after the 'Financial Times' reported that it is considering a switch to Airbus for its next order.

CRH shrugged off a downgrade on some debt with shares gaining 2.3pc to close at €12.31. C&C was one of the few decliners in Dublin yesterday, falling almost 1pc to €3.10 a day after market research group AC Nielsen said the group's cider sales volumes at British pubs and restaurants fell 5.5pc in the four weeks to August 7.

The mood was equally cheery elsewhere in Europe, as Moody's said it's impressed with Greece's efforts to reform its finances, and US service industries expanded more than forecast.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index surged 1.3pc, the biggest gain in more than a month, ending the longest stretch of declines since January 2009. The gauge has rallied 13pc since its low this year in May, as investors speculated that the global economy will avoid another recession. Still, concern that peripheral euro-area countries will struggle to repay their debt has left the gauge 4pc below its April high for 2010.

"Overall the environment isn't too bad for risky assets," said fund manager Markus Steinbeis. "We can expect another good earnings quarter with no major disappointments."

In Asia, stocks rebounded after Japan's central bank cut its benchmark interest rate and said it will create a 5 trillion yen fund to buy government bonds and other assets to support the economy.

Australia unexpectedly kept rates unchanged for a fifth month.

"Markets will increase faster than expected," said Stefan Risse, a strategist at CMC Markets in Hamburg. "Good earnings and low interest rates can bring an uptrend to equities."

Irish Independent

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