Transport providers take a hit
LIKE the rest of Europe, the main Irish share index barely budged yesterday despite several important corporate announcements. The ISEQ Overall Index was down 8.62 points, or a marginal 0.21pc, closing at 4,071.04.
Transport providers took a hit – Ryanair dropped 2.8pc to €6.96 after it reported a 21pc slump in quarterly net profit on higher fuel costs and an early Easter travel season, while ferry company ICG dropped 1.3pc to €23.50 and Aer Lingus shed 0.6pc to €1.71.
INM lost 7.7pc to 6c.
Elan jumped 3.7pc to €11.55 after the company announced its acquisition by US generic drugmaker Perrigo for $8.6m (€6.48m).
Providence Resources was up by 2.6pc, a relief for shareholders following last week's dismal performance, which saw the company lose 26pc of its share price after announcing the closure of its Dunquin exploratory well.
In Europe, stocks were little changed. The composite Stoxx Europe 600 Index added less than 0.1pc to 299.06 at the close of trading, having earlier climbed as much as 0.7pc.
"European equity markets are still holding up well on the back of last week's PMI numbers, which hints that growth in Europe will advance in the coming quarters," said Mark Andersen of UBS in Zurich. "Earnings still need to come in stronger to support equity markets."
National benchmark indexes advanced in 10 of the 18 western-European markets. Germany's DAX rose 0.2pc, while France's CAC 40 was little changed.
There was positive news in the UK, with the benchmark FTSE 100 Index heading for its biggest monthly gain since January, as advances in mining companies offset losses in bank shares. Randgold Resources and Eurasian Natural Resources each gained at least 2pc, while Barclays sank 3.5pc amid speculation that it is planning a capital increase.
Elsewhere, Essilor climbed 6.2pc to €85.62 as the world's biggest maker of eyeglass lenses agreed to buy full control of its Transitions Optical venture from PPG Industries for $1.73bn.