Business World

Saturday 24 March 2018

Stocks up on Greece, Ukraine optimism

Traders works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Reuters
Traders works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Reuters

The Greek stock market jumped 6.7pc yesterday, with the banking index surging 14.1pc after the European Central Bank approved extra emergency finance for the country's banks.

The move was seen as a boost after Greece and its international creditors had failed to agree a way forward on the country's debt crisis but they will meet and try again on Monday.

Shares across Europe rose yesterday, helped by the Greek bank news and optimism about peace talks on Ukraine.

In Dublin, Fastnet Oil & Gas shares more than doubled in price to 5.4 cents each yesterday, a surprise swing that pushed the stock back to levels last seen at the end of 2014, though with just a small volume of shares changing hands.

Smurfit Kappa was up almost 5pc to €24.20 a share. Closely watched Aer Lingus shares rose more than 3pc to 2.25 each as IAG's Willie Walsh stepped up a charm offensive he hopes can seal a takeover of the Irish airline.

In London, stocks rose yesterday, snapping a four-day loss, with gains for Rio Tinto Group and Shire.

Shares in Rio Tinto rose 2.3pc after the world's second-biggest mining company said it plans to spend $2bn on a share buyback and reported full-year profit that beat estimates.

In the same sector Anglo American gained 3.7pc. Shire jumped 4.6pc after the maker of drugs for rare diseases forecast higher 2015 earnings.

Guinness maker Diageo fell 1.2pc in London after Goldman Sachs Group recommended investors sell shares of the world's biggest distiller.

BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Sage Group are among companies trading ex-dividend, trimming 12.8 points off the FTSE 100 Index.

The FTSE 100 added 9.94 points, or 0.2pc, to 6,828.11 at the close in London. while Ireland's ISEQ Index rose 0.5pc.

Irish Independent

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