Friday 23 February 2018

ISEQ rises as Draghi hints at action plan

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi

Irish stocks rose yesterday, mirroring trends across Europe where stocks rose for the first time in five days as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policy-makers are prepared to take action on the EU's already record low benchmark interest rate in June.

The ISEQ Overall Index closed up 76.45 points or 1.58pc to 4925.25, paring losses incurred earlier in the week.

Text message gaming company Zamano was up 7pc to 8c, followed by Bank of Ireland, which added 3pc to 28c.

INM and Smurfit Kappa also added 3pc, to 16c and €17.09 respectively. AIB closed up 3pc to 12c.

The bank announced on Wednesday that the European Commission has approved its restructuring plan running to 2017.

Mining companies saw the biggest losses of the day – Conroy Gold sank 23pc to 2c while Petroceltic lost 7c to €1.90 after revealing that a gas discovery at one of its Kurdistan licenses was sub-commercial. Permanent TSB also took a hit, shedding 4pc to 9c, while Aer Lingus lost 3pc to €1.49 amid more threats of strike action that could affect the busy summer travel period.

On the continent, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index soared to its highest level in more than six years amid speculation of June action on benchmark interest rates by the ECB, and strong results from BT.

The index climbed 1.1pc to 339.56 at the close in London, after earlier dropping as much as 0.2pc.

The ECB left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.25pc.

The deposit rate stayed at zero and the marginal lending rate remained at 0.75pc, matching estimates.

National benchmark indexes rose in 16 of the 18 western European markets; the UK's FTSE 100 climbed 0.6pc, Germany's DAX rallied 0.9pc and France's CAC 40 advanced 1.4pc.

Sarah McCabe

Irish Independent

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