Monday 18 December 2017

ISEQ up as CRH builds on euro fall

Thomas Molloy

IRISH shares rose as investors bought shares in CRH on hopes that the company will benefit from a fall in the euro and as concern eased that measures to control the region's debt crisis will curb economic growth.

The ISEQ Overall index jumped 53.46 points, or 1.8pc, to 3108.59 points as CRH, UTV and Petroceltic gained.

CRH soared 4.8pc to €19.07 as European finance ministers said Greece's debt crisis won't unleash a continent-wide austerity drive with the potential to tip the economy back into a recession. Some investors are buying shares in large European companies with exposure to the US on hopes that recent sell-offs had been overdone.

Shares in UTV jumped 8.3pc to €1.57 after the media company said it was encouraged that trading in the first half of 2010 was ahead of expectations.

Petroceltic, meanwhile, was up 3.2pc to 16c after Polish news reports a day earlier that Poland's largest oil company is in "advanced talks" to buy all or part of a company that could be Petroceltic.

DCC rose during early trading but later slipped 1.5pc to €18.30 after publishing full-year results. The fall came despite a 27pc increase in pre-tax profits on a constant currency basis for the year ending March 2010.

Elsewhere in Europe, shares were also up with national benchmark indices gaining in 15 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 advanced 0.9pc and France's CAC 40 rallied 2.1pc. Germany's DAX rose 1.5pc.


British Land, the UK's second-largest real estate investment trust, rose 4.3pc after reporting its first annual profit in two years. Anglo American and Rio Tinto led a rally among raw-material producers. Man Group rose the most in 11 months after Numis Securities upgraded the world's biggest hedge-fund firm.

"The worst hopefully lies behind us," said Franz Wenzel, strategist at AXA Investment Managers. "We think valuations were appealing and are even more appealing today. We are not too confident to go overweight on equities but we also know that a controlled depreciation of the euro is a boon to European equities."

The Stoxx 600, which tracks Europe's largest companies, is valued at less than 16 times its companies' reported earnings, near the lowest level in 14 months. The number of investors that have an "underweight" stance on European stocks almost doubled from last month, according to a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Global Research survey.

European Aeronautic, Defence & Space, the parent of Airbus SAS, rose 6.2pc after Boeing said it would boost production on its 737 jet to 34 a month. Yell Group, publisher of the Yellow Pages UK directory, fell 22pc after saying that CEO John Condron and CFO John Davis are leaving.

Irish Independent

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