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Petroceltic big winner after shares rise on Algeria drill

IRISH shares were little changed yesterday, as the market looked ahead to the Brussels summit which begins today.

By the close of trading, the ISEQ Overall Index had gained 0.34pc, or 9.25 points, to close at 2,755.14.

The index stayed in positive territory for most of the day and despite a lurch into a loss shortly after the US opened, it closed slightly up.

In percentage terms, the big winner on the day was Petroceltic, which shot up 11.84pc after the company said it had achieved better-than-expected results from the last well in a drilling programme in Algeria.

Few other stocks made moves of major significance on a day that was relatively quiet, with little concrete news to direct the market.


Paddy Power added 3.88pc to €42.31 after analysts said the bookie was reasonably well placed to deal with changes to gambling laws that the Government was proposing.

The food sector had a mixed day, with Kerry Group climbing 3pc, but Glanbia (down 0.23pc), Aryzta (down 1.61pc) and Greencore (down 1.55pc) all fell back. Ryanair slid 1.26pc to €3.76.

Elsewhere, national benchmark indexes fell in 12 of the 18 western European markets after Germany rejected combining the current and permanent euro-area rescue funds and expressed pessimism over the outcome of a European Union summit this week.

France's CAC 40 Index declined 0.1pc. Germany's DAX lost 0.6pc and the UK's FTSE 100 retreated 0.4pc. The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 closed down 0.2pc.

"This once again highlights the difficulties European leaders are having in reaching agreement," said Benoit Peloille, equity market strategist at Natixis. "Combining the two funds would have allowed them to rapidly attain the sufficient power to fight contagion. The rejection by Germany complicates matters."

Germany said it opposed any change in the agreed sequence in which the region's bailout funds would be used.


It stands by the current agreement that the permanent European Stability Mechanism will take over from the European Financial Stability Facility by the middle of next year, a German government official told reporters in Berlin.

ING, the biggest Dutch financial-services company, dropped 4.7pc. The company plans to take a charge of as much as €1.1bn as lower interest rates and stock markets hurt a US annuity business the firm is winding down.

International Consolidated Airlines Group, the holding company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia, declined 1pc as pilots at its Iberia unit prepare to go on strike later this month.

Separately, the International Air Transport Association said the airline industry's profits next year would fall 49pc, more than it had predicted.

Lufthansa, Europe's second-biggest airline, declined 4.1pc, while SAS, the Scandinavian flag carrier, slipped 0.5pc in Stockholm.

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