Thursday 23 November 2017

ISEQ shares in eurozone's optimism over manufacturing

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares rose as strong manufacturing data from the eurozone signalled a recovery in the sector across the continent.

By mid-afternoon yesterday, the ISEQ Overall Index had climbed 1.35pc, or 54.45 points, to hit 4,101.53.

That was the index's highest level since May. The market climbed sharply from the opening as a number of countries published preliminary manufacturing data – known as Flash PMIs – for the last month.

Ryanair was set to be the big winner on the session, surging as much as 4.6pc to €7.35. The airline said on Tuesday that it would be willing to sell its near 30pc stake in rival Aer Lingus under certain circumstances. Aer Lingus, meanwhile, was little changed at €1.69.

Elan climbed 1.7pc to €10.74. The pharmaceuticals firm reiterated its intention to sell itself as it released decent second quarter results. Construction materials giant CRH added 0.6pc to reach €15.79. The firm is said to be closing in on a deal in India.

On the other side of the board, Providence Resources continued to struggle with the fallout from the lack of oil at a prospect it part owns in the Atlantic. Shares fell 2.8pc to €5.25.

It was a similar story elsewhere. European stocks rose to a seven-week high as data signalled Germany is leading a revival in euro-area manufacturing.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.8pc, while national benchmark indices gained in all Western European markets. The FTSE 100 rose 0.8pc, while France's CAC 400 added 1.2pc. Germany's DAX Index jumped 1pc.

"I've been positively surprised by the earnings season so far," said Michael Woischneck at Lampe Asset Management in Dusseldorf, Germany.

"Companies are holding up quite well and guidance from CEOs seems to show they are confident with their road maps ahead. I'm not saying I expect the next big boom in Europe, but there are signs that the economy is not getting worse."

EasyJet jumped 7pc to its highest price since it sold shares to the public in November 2000. Europe's second-largest discount airline said third-quarter sales rose 11pc and that full-year earnings should beat analyst estimates as it adds customers on routes where network carriers are withdrawing.

Irish Independent

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