Business World

Saturday 16 December 2017

New bank rules trigger Irish gains

Irish Life & Permanent rose 6pc to €1.70. Photo: Bloomberg News
Irish Life & Permanent rose 6pc to €1.70. Photo: Bloomberg News

Thomas Molloy

IRISH shares gained following a bounce in bank shares across Europe.

Irish Life & Permanent rose 6pc to €1.70, while Bank of Ireland advanced 5.4pc to 71.9c.

Allied Irish closed up 4.8pc at 78.3c after European Central Bank governor Jean Claude Trichet said the weekend agreement on new global bank capital rules will help to consolidate the economic recovery.

Building materials group CRH advanced 2.5pc to €13.46 as new figures showed the contraction in Ireland's construction market has slowed to its lowest rate since June 2007.

Kerry Group slipped 0.9pc to €25.60 after the dairy company got the green light to buy smaller rival Newmarket Co-Operative Creameries. Kerry looks set to buy the north Cork business for €33m after it received 82.49pc acceptances for the offer.

Shares in financial software group Norkom plunged 24pc to 95c after it warned that sales for the six months to the end of September would fall to between €22m and €22.5m.

Over in London, two Irish companies enjoyed a good day with shares in Tullow Oil rising 0.7pc to £12.41 (€14.88) after it said a new, well-off Ghana continues to show signs of being an important find, while Clonmel-based Kentz added 4.1pc to £2.66 after first-half pre-tax profits jumped 36pc to $25.2m (€19.5m) at the engineering firm.

Four-month high

Elsewhere in Europe, stocks hit a four-month high thanks to the new capital rules for banks and economic reports from China and Europe boosting confidence in the recovery.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rallied 0.7pc by the end of trading in London, its highest level since April 26. Last week, the benchmark gauge rallied 1.7pc, extending a rebound from this year's low in May, to 14 pc after an equities slump left it trading at the cheapest valuation in a year.

"More certainty is always a good thing within equity markets and so we now have a better idea about how much capital is going to be raised," said Lucy MacDonald, chief investment officer at RCM.

National benchmark indexes advanced in all of the 18 western European markets, except Greece. France's CAC 40 gained 1.1pc and the UK's FTSE 100 rose 1.2pc, while Germany's DAX Index gained 0.8pc.

Indexes extended gains after the European Commission forecast the region's economy may grow this year, almost twice as fast as the estimated 1.7pc.

Commodities climbed after industrial production in China rose the most in three months and retail sales and lending figures topped economists' estimates, statistics bureau and central bank data released on Sunday in Beijing showed.

Imports also accelerated, in another sign Chinese growth is picking up after a second-quarter moderation.

Irish Independent

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