Wednesday 22 November 2017

ISEQ rises on quiet day of trading

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

IRISH shares gained yesterday as shares across Europe rose to a three-month high, HSBC and BNP Paribas led a rally in banks, and basic-resource producers climbed with base metals.

The ISEQ closed up 40.31 points, or 1.4pc, at 2955.67 in light bank holiday trading. Shares worth just under €50m changed hands, a good bit less than half the daily average for this time of year. National benchmark indexes climbed in all of the 17 western European markets that were open yesterday. Germany's DAX gained 2.1pc, the UK's FTSE 100 rallied 2.4pc, and France's CAC 40 advanced 2.7pc.

Among the gainers were Smurfit Kappa, which jumped 3.6pc to €8.20 on speculation it will raise prices of recycled paper by €60 per tonne in Europe from the beginning of next month. Dragon rose 3.9pc to €5.31 as oil prices climbed to around $80 a barrel yesterday. Allied Irish Banks, which posts first-hall earnings this week, closed up 3.6pc at 97c.

Paddy Power was one of the few shares to fall, slipping 0.3pc to €27.80 after the bookie was rated new "reduce" at AlphaValue by equity analyst Cecile Aboulia. Her six-month target price is €26.20 per share.

The big talking point elsewhere in Europe was the better-than-expected performance of HSBC and BNP, which helped the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index soar 2.4pc to its highest close since April 29.


The gauge has surged 13pc from this year's low on May 25 as concern eased that efforts by European governments to curb budget deficits may derail the economic recovery.

"The results season is providing further evidence for our view that the European market has over-reacted to concerns about the impact of the sovereign debt crisis on economic activity," said Ian Scott, a London-based strategist at Nomura Holdings. "Both the surprise and underlying growth numbers are strong, helping to override concerns about a double-dip scenario, which has been weighing on markets."

HSBC climbed 5.1pc after first-half pretax profit doubled. BNP Paribas surged 5.1pc after reporting a 31pc increase in second-quarter net income.

BHP Billiton rose 3.9pc as copper climbed for a fourth day. Rio Tinto Group, the world's third-biggest mining company, gained 3.6pc. Xstrata was up 5.7pc.

Hammerson gained 2.5pc after the UK's third-largest real-estate investment trust reported a first-half profit £333m as the value of its properties grew.

Nokia climbed 2.8pc and Siemens advanced 3.5pc after the 'Wall Street Journal' reported that Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture between the two companies, is in discussions with buyout companies, including Silver Lake Partners, TPG Capital and KKR, about obtaining a minority stake for at least $1bn in cash.

Irish Independent

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