Tuesday 20 February 2018

ISEQ in late stumble after steady day

A trader looks over his monitor as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Photo: Reuters
A trader looks over his monitor as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Photo: Reuters
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares were little changed yesterday, as strong manufacturing data here helped offset weaker figures from the rest of Europe.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index had fallen 1.69 points, or 0.05pc, to 3,288.58. The market held steady for much of the day but stumbled towards the close of play, ensuring it closed in the red.

Few stocks made significant moves. Providence Resources slid 5pc to €6.37. The oil and gas explorer has stumbled in recent weeks, and the stock is down more than 26pc since the start of October.

While the latest NCB Purchasing Managers Index showed manufacturing in Ireland expanded again last month, US manufacturing contracted unexpectedly.

Aryzta fell 2.4pc to €38.20. The Swiss-based speciality baker reported little underlying growth in its first quarter interim management statement. Origin Enterprises, the agronomy business it part owns, fell 1.9pc to €4.07.

Elsewhere, European stocks climbed, following their longest stretch of monthly gains in six years, as two measures of Chinese manufacturing increased and Greece offered to spend €10bn buying back bonds.

National benchmark indices gained in 13 of the 18 western European markets. France's CAC 40 advanced 0.3pc and Germany's DAX added 0.4pc, while the UK's FTSE 100 increased 0.1pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.1pc.

"Greece has made quite a bit of progress," said Philippe Gijsels, head of fixed-income research at BNP Paribas Fortis in Brussels. "If Greece can manage the buyback and get a new tranche of aid, then the Greece problem will be out of the way until the end of 2013.

"China is clearly improving and this is helping equities and commodities. We're in a sweet spot for the next two to three months," he added.

Cable & Wireless Communications added 1.2pc. State-owned Batelco agreed to buy CWC's Monaco and Islands unit for $680m (€510m).

Schroders rose 1.6pc after Bank of America raised its rating on the shares to buy from neutral.

Lonmin, the third-biggest platinum producer, climbed 0.6pc. Rio Tinto, the second-largest mining company, gained 0.9pc.

ITV climbed 1.5pc. The stock is "attractively valued," Panmure Gordon said in a report.

ITV's peak-time audience of 47pc of television viewers for the finale of its show 'I'm a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here!' was significant for advertising, the brokerage wrote.

Tesco fell 0.8pc and J Sainsbury lost 1.4pc.

Barclays said in a report that there has been a significant increase in the number of UK retailers offering holiday-related discounts.

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