Monday 19 March 2018

ISEQ rises for a fourth day despite European declines

Thomas Molloy

SHARES in Dublin rose for a fourth day, shrugging off disappointing economic data at home and overseas which triggered declines elsewhere in Europe and further afield.

The benchmark ISEQ rose 9.93 points, or 0.3pc, to close at 3025.25 points. The UK's FTSE 100 lost 0.6pc, France's CAC 40 slipped 0.5pc and Germany's DAX fell 0.7pc.

Icon was among the benchmark's biggest gainers, rising 11.5pc to €18.95 after the clinical trials company said investment company FMR had raised its stake to 11.2pc. First Derivatives added 7.7pc to €2.80 after it said it was in talks with the receiver of financial products company Cognotec Holdings to buy its assets.

Petroceltic rose 7.1pc to 15c after the Irish oil explorer's chief executive Brian O'Cathain said the explorer planned to drill its first well in Italy in September. The company will drill in the Adriatic off Abruzzo, Bloomberg quoted Mr O'Cathain as saying.

Aer Lingus fell 1.45pc to 68c on fears that a price war with rival Ryanair could knock sales. Ryanair, which said it carried 4.08m passengers last month, closed up 0.3pc at €3.52. Irish Continental closed unchanged at €14.20 despite a fire on its Oscar Wilde ferry.

Elsewhere in Europe, stocks generally fell, halting a three-day rally, as concern grew that Greece, Portugal and Spain will have difficulty curbing their budget deficits and Electrolux posted worse-than-estimated earnings.

Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo and Spain's Banco Popular Espanol sank more than 4pc. Electrolux, the world's second-largest appliance maker, slumped the most in three years.

The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index retreated 0.6pc to 249.4. The index has declined 4.2pc from this year's high on January 19 as the US called for limits on risk-taking by banks, China moved to cool economic growth and concern Greece wasn't doing enough to fix its deteriorating finances.

"Investors may well find that January's global equity sell-off was just a precursor to a disappointing year for several asset classes," wrote Mohamed A El-Erian, whose firm PIMCO runs the world's biggest mutual fund.

"The global financial crisis has undermined growth and job creation; it has clogged many of the pipes that allocate funds to productive uses; and it has rapidly taken public debt and the budget deficit to worrisome levels."

Carmakers posted the biggest gains in the Stoxx 600, gaining 0.8pc as a whole group, as Honda raised its full-year profit forecast.

Irish Independent

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