Monday 22 January 2018

Shares across Europe surge on pledge to save euro

Mark Keenan

Mark Keenan

MARKETS surged across Europe yesterday on the back of a firmer message from both the ECB and the German and French governments that they will do everything it takes to save the euro.

Meanwhile in the United States, news emerged that economic growth figures had slowed for the second quarter but not as badly as many had expected.

Irish market confidence was boosted slightly by our re-entry to the bonds market which, despite a high yield of 5.9pc, at least demonstrated that the international markets believe we can meet budgetary targets.

In Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index rose by 0.8pc, or by 25.22 points to 3,146.

The biggest growth stock yesterday was Fastnet Oil and Gas, which lifted 17.14pc to 20c with investors reacting well to the publication of independent technical reports on the group's interests in the Molly Malone and Mizzen Basins in the Celtic sea.

These appeared to bear out Fastnet's professed prior assessments for the prospects.

Next best performer on the day was Ormonde Mining, which skipped up 11.4pc to 9c as the group's Spanish subsidiary entered the final stage of the permit application process regarding its tungsten prospect in that country.

Construction stocks CRH and Grafton also did well with the former adding 3.5pc to €15.27 and the latter 2.4pc to €2.85.

Reasonable first-half results from other European construction related stocks, such as the plasterboard and cement giant LaFarge, helped matters here. CRH is also benefiting from its interests in the US, where the housing sector is growing while European construction flags.

Smurfit Kappa got a 3pc boost yesterday to €5.86, with industry commentators hinting that its first-half figures due on August 1 might be slightly better than expected based on short-term margin gains.

Other gainers included C&C, up 1.4pc to €3.39 as the London Olympics kick off amidst a bout of good cider-drinking weather.

The losers on the day included Donegal Creameries, which soured by 4.4pc on a mixed day for the food sector overall.

Elsewhere, on the back of announcements of extensive branch closures, AIB shed 4pc to 5c. Other tumblers included TVC Holdings, down 3.8pc to 76c, Total Produce falling 3pc to 40c, Independent News & Media, which shed 2.4c to 20c and Ryanair which lost 2.2pc to €3.90.

Irish Independent

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