FBD to the fore as market bounces at the close


Iseq:2,429.94 (-20.06) Settlement date:August 31st

THE IRISH market finished the week on a low note yesterday, shedding 0.8 per cent despite strong performances from FBD and Independent News & Media.

Insurer FBD continued to feel the benefits of a positive set of interim results earlier in the week, although it was the announcement of a joint venture to manage its property interests that brokers said underpinned the jump in its share price.

“The joint venture announcement is more important,” one trader said. “It tidies up their balance sheet and means it’s just a pure insurance company play.”

The stock rose more than 7 per cent, or about 45 cent, to just below €6.60.

Elsewhere, first-half results from Dublin-based media group IN&M were in line with expectations and appeared to be well received by investors as its share price closed more than 6 per cent, or 1.7 cent, higher at 28.2 cent.

Insulation group Kingspan was among the biggest losers on the day, shedding about 2.5 per cent, or 15 cent, to €5.80.

Packaging group Smurfit Kappa moved almost 2 per cent lower, or 10 cent, to €4.95.

Overall the Iseq marked time during the morning as investors held their fire in advance of US Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke’s speech at the Jackson Hole economic conference in the afternoon. Equities sold off initially after Mr Bernanke stopped short of signalling further action to stimulate economic growth. However markets rebounded strongly after the initial sell-off, and the Iseq enjoyed a bounce into the close. However it was not enough to erase the damage done earlier.

The percentage drop for CRH’s share price quoted in yesterday’s edition should have been 0.09 per cent not 0.9 per cent. The shares fell again yesterday by 11 cent or close to 1 per cent to finish on €11.39.