Stocks soar for fourth day in a row
IRISH shares rose for a fourth day yesterday, as strong economic data from the US provided a late boost to markets.
By the close of trading the ISEQ Overall Index had added 0.98pc, or 25.2 points, to reach 2,602.10.
The index had fallen back in early trading after weak purchasing managers' indices across Europe. An unexpected expansion in American manufacturing, however, provided a welcome fillip to dealers and drove a late spike in equities.
Much of the growth yesterday came from the food sector, with most companies in the sector posting significant gains.
Kerry Group added 1.11pc to reach €27.30 and Glanbia climbed 3.53pc to €4.40. Greencore climbed 1.81pc to 61c, a day after it said its bid for the UK sandwich maker Uniq had been accepted by more than 98pc of the British company's shareholders. Aryzta rose 2.91pc to €33.55, while Fyffes jumped 11.76pc to 38c.
US-focused companies rose sharply, after the Institute of Supply Management there said its purchasing managers' index unexpectedly showed expansion last month.
Pharmaceuticals company Elan rose 3.82pc to €7.67, while CRH rose 1.33pc to €12.60.
Paddy Power added 0.79pc to €35.82 even after co-founder David Power cut his holding in the company to below 8pc.
There were few laggards during the session, although Donegal Creameries slumped 5.56pc to €3.40 after posting worse-than-expected interim results.
Elsewhere, European stocks rallied for a fourth day, the longest stretch of gains in more than a month.
Benchmark indices climbed in 14 out of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 Index rose 0.5pc and France's CAC 40 Index gained 0.3pc. Germany's DAX Index slid 0.9pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.6pc.
"The move into positive territory was largely due to some better-than-expected manufacturing data from the US, which helped lift stocks across the pond and this pulled the London market with it," said Angus Campbell, the head of sales at Capital Spreads in London. "Even though the economic data released today is nothing to write home about and still shows manufacturing in a sorry state, it's a relief for investors to see some light at the end of the tunnel."
British banks rose amid press reports that the UK government will probably delay a regulatory overhaul until after the next general election to avoid tighter credit policies affecting the economy. RBS surged 8.2pc, Barclays jumped 5.6pc and Lloyds Banking Group rallied 6.2pc.
Nokia rose 5.2pc as Canada's Mosaid Technologies acquired a portfolio of about 2,000 patents and patent applications originally filed by Nokia for an undisclosed sum.