ISEQ fails to keep hold of early gains in day of mixed fortunes
IT was another largely positive day for European markets yesterday, although some indices, including the UK's FTSE-100, failed to stay in positive territory by the end of the session, while Irish stocks proved a mixed bag.
Good results from motor firms Volkswagen and Porsche yielded positive investor sentiment, as did earnings from technology group Ericsson. After European markets closed, the US Federal Reserve, as expected, kept interest rates at an all-time low in order to stimulate the economy.
That prompted a rally in gold futures and saw the dollar drop to its lowest level since August 2008. US data also pointed to strong durable goods orders during March.
The ISEQ Overall Index failed to cling to earlier gains and slipped six points, or 0.21pc, to close at 2,970.08.
Movers included betting group Paddy Power, which added 2.04pc, or 65c to end the day at €32.50. Ryanair gained 2.02pc, or 6.8c to close at €3.42.
Allied Irish Banks lost nearly 4.6pc, or 1.1c, to finish at 22.9c. Aer Lingus shed 2.4pc, or 2c, to end the session at 81c. Other losers included dairy group Glanbia, which lost 2.86pc, or 13c, to €4.42.
National benchmark indices rose in 12 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE-100 slid 0.2pc, while France's CAC 40 gained 0.5pc and Germany's DAX climbed 0.6pc.
Greece's ASE Index slid 1.8pc as the yield on the nation's two-year bonds rose above 25pc for the first time.
National Bank of Greece, the country's biggest lender, declined 5.3pc to €5.05, the lowest in eight years.
Ericsson surged 11pc as the biggest maker of mobile phone network equipment reported first-quarter profit that more than tripled. Volkswagen, Europe's largest carmaker, climbed 5.2pc.
Porsche rallied 6.2pc after its car-making division reported increased income.
Volvo, the world's second-largest truckmaker, rose 2pc after lifting this year's industry sales forecasts.
European stocks erased an earlier drop as a report showed Britain's economy rebounded in the first quarter by enough to erase the contraction of the previous three months on the strongest surge in service industry growth for four years.
Gross domestic product rose 0.5pc from the previous three months, when it fell by the same amount, the Office for National Statistics said. The result matched the median forecast of 28 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.
Associated British Foods sank 5.9pc to £9.83 (€11.05) after the owner of Primark clothes stores cut its full-year profit forecast as profitability at its clothing unit will be lower than previously anticipated. Barclays slid 4.6pc to £2.88.
The UK's third-largest bank by assets said first-quarter net income fell to £1.01bn as revenue from its investment banking unit declined by 15pc. (Bloomberg)