Business World

Saturday 25 January 2020

Markets close up with US job news

Thomas Molloy

IRISH shares advanced for their sixth straight day as heavyweight Kenmare Resources was tipped and shares across the world reacted to unexpectedly good jobs figures from the United States.

The ISEQ closed up 26.56 points, or 1pc, at 2836.75 points as exploration companies such as Kenmare and Petroceltic enjoyed a good day.

Kenmare closed up 5.9pc at 52 cent as the stock was raised to "top pick" from "outperform" at RBC Capital Markets by equity analyst Des Kilalea.

Kenmare is also benefiting from rumours that sector peer Sierra Rutile had pre-sold its entire production capacity for the first few months of 2012.

Petroceltic closed up 17pc at 52 cent as investors continued to welcome the sale of an interest in an Algerian production-sharing contract to Italian energy provider Enel earlier this week.

Merrion Pharmaceuticals plunged by a third to close at 18 cent. Other losers included Petroceltic, which shed 3.6pc to €2.40 despite an upbeat statement.

European stocks also advanced, extending this week's gains, after US jobless claims unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest since April 2008, indicating the recovery in the world's largest economy is on track.


The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 1.1pc at the close in London, bringing this week's gains to 2.6pc.

The benchmark measure has rallied 12pc from this year's low on September 22 amid optimism that US economic growth is holding firm and euro-area leaders are moving to stem the region's debt crisis.

National benchmark indexes climbed in 15 of the 18 western European stock markets. The UK's FTSE 100 Index rose 1.3pc, Germany's DAX advanced 1.1pc and France's CAC 40 gained 1.4pc.

US jobless claims unexpectedly dropped last week to the lowest since April 2008, a sign that the US labour market is strengthening.

"We've seen encouraging economic news out of the US," said Robert Talbut, the chief investment officer at Royal London Asset Management.

"I still believe that the necessary shifts will occur in Europe and that in combination with more supportive moves elsewhere, 2012 can turn out to be a decent year for credit and equities."

Stocks which posted big swings included International Consolidated Airlines Group and Deutsche Lufthansa which climbed 3.3pc and 1.9pc respectively after the parent of British Airways reached a binding agreement to buy Lufthansa's BMI unit.

Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas jumped more than 3pc, as banks pared some of this year's slump.

Irish Independent

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