Wednesday 29 January 2020

Most markets closed for May Day as ISEQ advances for 0.7pc gain

Colm Kelpie

IRISH shares were up yesterday as the majority of European stocks were shut to mark May Day.

All western European markets except Ireland, the UK and Denmark were closed yesterday.

By early afternoon in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index had increased 0.71pc or 27.37 points to 3885.59.

The Dublin index slipped on opening before largely steadily increasing throughout the morning – ahead of an anticipated statement from the US Federal Reserve.

The leaders on the Dublin exchange included food ingredients company Kerry Group, which rose 1.4pc to €45.52 after announcing a 2.2pc increase in continuing business volumes.

An interim management statement issued to the stock exchange stated that reported revenues increased 0.6pc and revenue jumped 0.4pc.

Glanbia pushed ahead to a peak, trading as high as €10.24 for a 0.8pc gain.

Drinks giant C&C increased 1.3pc to €4.78, while Ryanair jumped 1.1pc to €5.96.

Allied Irish Banks was up 3.1pc €0.07 as it announced a €50m support package for farmers and farm suppliers dealing with the current fodder shortages.

On the other side of the board, insulation company Kingspan slipped 1.3pc to €9.05, while shipping and transport group Irish Continental was down 0.97pc to €20.50.

Insurance giant FBD slipped 0.32pc to €12.30.

Elsewhere, UK stocks rose following a record streak of monthly gains for the FTSE 100 Index amid optimism central banks will continue to stimulate the global economy.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index, the regional benchmark, added 0.1pc by early afternoon.

The FTSE 100 advanced 40.03 points, or 0.6pc. The benchmark has rallied for the past 11 months, for the longest stretch of gains since its beginning in 1984.

"It's very important that the monetary stimulus stays in place," Adrian van Tiggelen, chief equity strategist at ING Investment Management in The Hague said.

"We suppose that it will happen. Interest rates are getting so low because of all the monetary stimulus that equities, especially defensive equities, are becoming a kind of safe-haven bond proxy."

Copper mining company Antofagasta climbed 2pc after saying its copper output grew in the first quarter.

Computer development company Kofax increased 3.1pc after posting third-quarter earnings that surged 77pc.

Home Retail Group declined 2.9pc after reporting a drop in full-year profit.

In the US, stocks were little changed as investors waited to hear from the US Federal Reserve on the state of the economy and on signs of fatigue after the S&P 500 benchmark index ended at another all-time closing high.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is also set to make an announcement on interest rates today.

The Standard & Poor's GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 2pc in early morning trading in New York, as aluminum and oil declined almost 3pc.

The Dollar Index slipped for a fifth straight day, the longest slump of the year.

Irish Independent

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