Business World

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Stocks gain as fears of worst-case scenario fade

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

IRISH stock prices rose by 0.77pc in afternoon trading yesterday, in line with small gains across most of Europe.

The ISEQ Overall Index had gained 31.35 points to 3938.45 by 3pm. Some 23 of its 44 companies were up while eight fell and 13 were static.

It was a successful day for exploration companies. Ovoca Gold jumped 18.2pc to 13c. Russian-focused oil and gas miner Petroneft gained 14.3pc to 4c, and offshore Ireland exploration business Providence was up 4.8pc to €6.50.

At the other end of the scale was Ormonde Mining, which saw the biggest falls of the day. Its share price shed 22.4pc to 4c.

There was similarly good news for fresh food companies. Total Produce rose 4.5pc to 68c while Fyffes was up 3.6pc to 68c.

Yesterday the chairman of competitor fruit supplier Dole offered $645m for the remaining 60pc of that company that he does not own, valuing it at $1.5bn. Dublin stockbrokers Goodbody said the buyout highlights the long term value in the stock.

Bank of Ireland rose 3.8pc to 17c, recovering some of the 7pc hit its share price took on Tuesday. Permanent TSB was up 3.3pc to 3 c. Technology company Zamano saw the second biggest losses of the day, down 5c to 10c. Merrion Pharmaceutical was down 4.9pc to 58c.

The ISEQ Overall Index has climbed 15pc to 3,907.1 this year and more than doubled since its 13-year low in March 2009.

Smurfit Kappa Group has led gains, up an impressive 889pc since March 2009, according to Bloomberg. Even so, the ISEQ has only recouped just a quarter of the 80pc plunge that began in February 2007 and culminated in the near-collapse of the country's banking system.

In Europe, national benchmark indexes advanced in 12 of the 18 western European markets. France's CAC 40 gained 0.4pc, the UK's FTSE 100 rose 0.1pc, while Germany's DAX lost 0.2pc.

The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.5pc to 293.09. The gauge has still lost 5.6pc since May amid speculation that the US Federal Reserve will taper the bond-buying programme that has helped to drive the index to its highest levels since June 2008.

"There is the realisation in the market that some of the stimulatory measures out there are going to be coming to an end," said Kevin Lilley of Old Mutual Asset Managers.

"Fears of a worst-case scenario have abated for now, but for the market to really move ahead we need profit growth."

BSkyB rose 2.7pc to £7.99. According to Banco Espirito Santo, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp may make a new bid for the UK's largest pay-TV broadcaster after its shareholders approve a plan to split off publishing operations.

Irish Independent

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