Business World

Friday 23 February 2018

Oil drill woes weigh on ISEQ

Colm Kelpie and Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares slipped yesterday, lead by a fall in oil and gas exploration company Providence.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.2pc, or 8.56 points, to end the trading day at 4,072.38.

The Dublin index had a mixed day but couldn't pull itself into the black by the close.

Providence led the laggards, falling 9.5pc to close at €5.55, after Exxon, which had been drilling an exploration well at the Dunquin North licence off the west coast of the country, said it did not recover any "commercially viable hydrocarbons" from the well.

The move is a huge blow to hopes that explorers may want to drill in Irish waters and potentially create a windfall for the Exchequer.

Dublin's Providence Resources holds 16pc in the site, and that company's shares were hammered yesterday, falling as much as 10pc before recovering somewhat.

It was also a bad day for the banks as AIB fell 5.4pc to €0.05, Bank of Ireland dropped 1.2pc to €0.17 and Permanent TSB slipped 3.6pc to €0.03.

Bookmakers Paddy Power fell back 0.8pc to €62.78, while drug company Elan closed down 0.8pc to €10.59.

On the other side of the board, Green REIT continued to enjoy growth in its first week, rising 1.7pc to €1.17, while shipping and transport group Irish Continental was up 1.1pc to €23.45.

Drinks giant C&C increased 1pc to €4.23, while speciality baker Aryzta rose 0.2pc to €46.30.

Elsewhere, European stocks rose for a fourth day, extending a seven-week high, as companies from UBS to Royal Philips Electronics reported increased profit.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.2pc to 300.3 at the close of trading, having swung between gains and losses at least 20 times.

National benchmark indexes fell in 10 of the 18 western European markets yesterday.

France's CAC 40 added 0.4pc, while the UK's FTSE 100 slipped 0.1pc and Germany's DAX was little changed.

In the US, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.2pc by late afternoon Irish time.

Irish Independent

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