Business World

Monday 19 March 2018

ISEQ is up after day of fluctuation

IRISH shares swung between gains and losses yesterday, tracking fluctuations elsewhere in Europe.

The benchmark ISEQ closed little changed, up 9.17 points at 2,976.59 points having moved between gains and losses seven times before lunch.

National benchmark indexes rose in 12 out of 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 advanced 0.1pc. Germany's DAX declined 0.2pc, while France's CAC 40 was little changed.

Bank of Ireland was among the biggest losers after failing to find a solution to the problems presented by the dividend owed to the Government.

Elan fell, led lower by a general tumble in pharmaceutical stocks on concerns about US President Barack Obama's healthcare reforms.

Kerry Group and Dragon both gained more than 1.6pc ahead of results today.

Bank of Ireland sank 6.2pc to €1.18 as shareholders saw their take diluted by the transfer of almost 16pc of the shares to the State instead of a dividend. Allied Irish Banks slid 2.9pc to €1.09. Irish Life & Permanent continued to pull away from the other two banks, jumping 3.8pc to €3.15.

The lender said it will stop publishing monthly house price reports because not enough houses are being sold.

Elan, the Athlone-based drugmaker partly owned by Johnson & Johnson, slid 3.4pc to €5.12.


Icon, a drug testing company, fell 1.1pc to €17.60 on concerns it may face possible repercussions after European and US agencies criticised tests it conducted for a third party.

CRH gained 1.4pc to close at €17.65. The building materials conglomerate posts full-year results for 2009 next week. Goodbody analyst Robert Eason said yesterday that the main focus of CRH shareholders will be on the company's outlook for 2010.

European stocks fluctuated between gains and losses after the biggest weekly advance in seven months for the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index as a rally by mining companies offset declines by retailers.

Rio Tinto Group led basic-resources shares higher. Alcatel-Lucent surged 5pc after BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research recommended the stock.

Inditex, the world's largest clothing retailer, and Carrefour fell more than 1.5pc after Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the shares. GlaxoSmithKline led drugmakers lower.

US stocks fell for the first time in five sessions in early trading as declines in natural gas and industrial metal prices dragged down commodity producers, overshadowing gains in financial companies.

Exxon and Newmont slid as natural gas and copper prices fell at least 2pc. H&R Block, the biggest US tax preparation firm, dropped 5.4pc after an analyst downgrade.

Wells Fargo and Bank of America led financial shares higher on speculation over interest rates.

Irish Independent

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