Wednesday 17 January 2018

Quiet day ends on a positive note

Marketfield wants to keep its €170m stake in Bank of Ireland
Marketfield wants to keep its €170m stake in Bank of Ireland

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares rose yesterday, as gains in most major stocks pushed the index higher.

It was another quiet day for the index, with little Irish-specific news to move the market for most of the day.

By the close of trading, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.66pc, or 19.64 points, at 2,989.72. The index spent most of the day in the red before a late rally pushed it into positive territory.

Bank of Ireland led the index, jumping 13.6pc to 28c on a generally good day for financial stocks. Allied Irish Banks grabbed 5.24pc to close at 24c. Irish Life and Permanent slipped 1.88pc on news that a US investor was trying to block the break-up of the lender.

Oil and gas explorer Petroceltic had a strong day, increasing by some 17pc at one point before falling back to close at 14c -- a rise of 12.5pc. Petroceltic is selling part of its interest in a gas discovery in Algeria for up to $183m (€135m).

There were few significant laggards on the ISEQ yesterday, but Kerry Group lost 1.93pc to close at €27.90. Elan dropped 2.06pc to €5.29.

Elsewhere, European stocks rose for a sixth day, extending an eight-week high, as Deutsche Bank's earnings beat estimates and the Federal Reserve pledged to keep rates low for an "extended period".


National benchmark indexes rose in 15 of the 18 western European markets. Germany's DAX gained 1pc and France's CAC 40 advanced 0.9pc, while the UK's FTSE 100 added less than 0.1pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.3pc.

"Equity markets are supported by powerful and strong earnings on the one hand and low interest rates on the other," said Philipp Musil at Semper Constantia Privatbank in Vienna.

"The market ignores all other crises around us right now. There's no alternative to investing in equities."

In Germany, a report showed unemployment fell below three million -- for the first time in almost 19 years -- in April in adjusted terms, increasing the likelihood that household spending will boost economic growth.

In the UK, however, consumer confidence slumped to its weakest level since the depth of the recession in February 2009 as the government's budget cuts began in earnest.

Deutsche Bank climbed 4.8pc as net income increased to €2.1bn, the second-best quarterly result ever, the Frankfurt-based bank said.

Suez Environnement rose 4pc as Europe's second-largest water company said first-quarter profit climbed 29pc following a Spanish acquisition and as the economic recovery boosted demand for waste collection.

In London, WPP gained 2.9pc. The world's largest advertising company said first-quarter revenue increased 7pc.

Irish Independent

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