ISEQ up slightly after volatile day
IRISH shares were little changed yesterday as the market awaited resolution in Greece and watched as borrowing costs in Italy continued to soar.
By the close of trading, the ISEQ Overall Index had added 0.02pc, or 0.59 points, to close at 2,665.13.
It was not the benign day the final close may have represented, however. The market lurched deep into the red at the opening, falling as far as 2,640 before recovering in the afternoon and reached as high as 2,682 at one point before settling back down.
In percentage terms, Providence Resources led the market. The oil and gas explorer climbed 11pc after the company said drilling at its site off the Wexford coast would begin in a fortnight. The Barryroe site is considered very important for "de-risking" the offshore Ireland play.
Greencore rose 5.54pc to 78c as the market reacted to weekend reports that an American private equity firm was in talks to take over the Irish company.
Independent News & Media added 7.6pc to close at 27c, while Ryanair took off after producing a solid set of results. The airline closed 3.87pc higher at €3.52.
On the sell side, CRH slid back after finishing well on Friday. The construction firm fell 2.07pc to €12.52.
Elsewhere, European stocks dropped, extending last week's sell-off, as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi struggled to hold power before a budget vote and Greece worked on plans to form a new government.
National benchmark indices fell in 10 of the 18 western European markets yesterday. The UK's FTSE 100 slipped 0.3pc, while France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX Index lost 0.6pc. The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 also fell 0.6pc.
"The market is trading on headlines," said Jeremy Batstone-Carr, head of research at Charles Stanley & Co in London. "In an environment such as this with a kaleidoscope of news coming out of Europe, we are going to see extraordinary volatility. It is a real swamp of a market for investors."
In Italy, Mr Berlusconi's majority was unravelling last night ahead a key parliamentary vote today on the 2010 budget report as contagion from Europe's sovereign debt crisis pushed the country's borrowing costs to euro-era records. The yield on Italy's 10-year bonds surged to as much as 6.68pc.
Rentokil fell 3.8pc. The world's biggest pest-control company cut its savings and earnings targets for the year as it pumps money into restoring profit at its City Link parcel-delivery service.
Greek banks limited losses in the Stoxx 600. National Bank of Greece advanced 5.4pc, Piraeus Bank increased 4.6pc and Alpha Bank gained 6.9pc. Greece's benchmark ASE Index rose 1.4pc.