Business World

Thursday 18 July 2019

Rising tide floats all boats

Sarah McCabe

IRISH shares rose yesterday, mirroring gains across Europe where stocks rebounded amid speculation that economic data will improve and as Portugal's politicians reached an agreement to hold the governing coalition together.

The ISEQ Overall Index was up 20.96 points or 0.52pc to 4,021.98. The share prices of 18 of its 44 companies rose, while 11 fell and 15 stayed stable. The index is down 0.05pc in the last five trading days but still up 18pc in the year to date.

INM saw the biggest gains of the day, up 8pc to 7c. It was followed by travel software company Datalex, which jumped 6pc to 90c. It was a good day for building firm CRH, rising 3pc to €15.63 as UK house builder Bovis Homes reported significant improvement in half-year housing profit on the back of increasing access to finance among home-buyers.

Banks fared equally well. Bank of Ireland rose 2pc to 16c and AIB was up 2pc to 6c. Beleaguered Ulster Bank has revealed it has met the latest Central Bank mortgage arrears targets but the situation at AIB and Bank of Ireland is not yet clear.


The biggest losers of the day were mining companies. Petroneft, Petroceltic, Kenmare and Dragon Oil all fell but Dublin-based technology company Zamano saw the biggest losses, down 11pc to 8c.

In western Europe, national benchmark indices advanced in all 18 markets yesterday. France's CAC 40 gained 1.9pc and Germany's DAX climbed 2.1pc, while the UK's FTSE 100 added 1.2pc.

The composite Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 1.4pc to 292.37, following a 1.2pc rise last week as the European Central Bank and the Bank of England said interest rates will remain low for an extended period of time.

The equity benchmark has still fallen 5.9pc since May 22, after US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that the country's central bank may reduce its bond buying programme if the economy improves in line with its forecasts.

"The world looks rosy to investors again, after the US market rallied on much better-than-expected employment numbers that investors finally seem to be interpreting as good news," said Mirabaud Securities' John Plassard. "We have reached a point where markets will reflect the real economy more."

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