Thursday 19 April 2018

ISEQ trades sideways as European bourses welcome positive US data

Mark Keenan

Mark Keenan

THE ISEQ overall index remained static yesterday despite a lift in other markets caused by positive notes on industrial production from the US, Chinese property prices and the oil market doing a jitterbug over the extent of US shortages.

The Overall Index fell by 0.02pc or 0.64 points to 3,216,96 with oil stocks showing strongest. Aminex shot up 40pc to 0.7c, with the gain almost doubling up on its unexplained 23pc tumble on Tuesday.

Petroneft jumped up 5.56pc to 10c and Petroceltic almost matched lifting 5pc to 11c. Dragon Oil gained 2.53pc to €7.20.

There was drama on the international oil markets when prices surged early, on expectations that a US report would reveal a 1.2m barrel hole in that country's crude oil reserves.

Oil stocks soared but fell back somewhat (and just as the ISEQ was near closing) as news came through that the shortfall wasn't as severe -- at 809,000 barrels. This caused slippage later in the day. There were some exceptions.

Fastnet Oil and Gas which was launched onto the ISEQ just last month saw its shares dive by 13.33pc to 14c following news that that the company had acquired the issued share capital of Pathfinder Hydrocarbon Ventures for $8m to be paid for by the payment of $1m cash and the issue of 40,688,212 new ordinary shares in the capital of the company.

Its chief executive said: "Through this acquisition, we are exposing our shareholders to near term drilling activities offshore West Africa in a very exciting frontier basin."

Providence also slipped by 5.3pc to €7.70 yesterday with some cooling in the aftermath of a recent share boosting report by analysts at London's Liberum Capital that the company might be sitting on a billion barrels at Barryroe.

Outside of oil, there was growth for the zircon and titanium mining interest Kenmare Resources which rose 4.2pc to €1.90 in the wake of good news on two fronts from China.

A new report shows that the country will become a net importer of precious earth metals within two years while it has emerged that property prices in most major Chinese cities have started to rise again after eight months of slippage. Zircon is a prime ingredient for the country's burgeoning ceramics industry.

Among the big percentage losers on the day was Russian gold explorer and miner Ovoca Gold which dropped 16.7pc to 12c. World gold prices fell with no news forthcoming of further US debt purchase from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke.

Meanwhile Grafton Group raised 3.4pc to €2.80, CRH climbed 1.1pc to €15.46 and Smurfit Kappa lifted by 2.3pc to €5.45.

Elsewhere the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1.1pc, London's FTSE 100 closed up 1pc, the DAX lifted by 1.6pc and in Paris the CAC rose 1.8pc.

Indo Business

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business