Dublin outperforms on lacklustre day
Airline share up as French strike ends; Kenmare rises on rejecting Iluka Resources
Aer Lingus shares closed 1.5 cent stronger at €1.39, while Ryanair shares added 11 cent to finish at €6.99. Photograph: Alan Betson
The mood was fairly lacklustre across stock markets today, dampened by talk from a senior Federal Reserve figure that US interest rates could increase at the end of the first quarter next year.
President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis James Bullard said in an interview that markets may not be fully appreciative of how close the Fed is to reaching its goals.
Closer to home, the Bank of England announced a strategy to address a potential housing bubble by limiting risky mortgages but said it wouldn’t have a significant near-term impact, leading to rises in UK housebuilders.
Dublin was a mild outperformer, with the Iseq finishing 0.2 per cent stronger as most other markets struggled to keep their heads above water.
The big newsmaker on the day was Kenmare, which said it was rejecting a £468 million all-share takeover offer from Australia’s Iluka Resources because it did not recognise the potential of the Irish company’s Moma mine in Mozambique. Shares in the explorer moved ahead as soon as the offer was confirmed, closing almost 30 per cent stronger at 18.7 cent.
Bank of Ireland weakened after confirming that it was making its final divestment under its EU restructuring plan by selling ICS’s €250 million in performing mortgages and distribution platform. Shares in the bank finished 0.4 cent lower at 25 cent.
Ryanair did well after the French air-traffic controllers’ strike ended on Wednesday, also benefiting from having presented at a Davy investor day in London on the same day. Shares in the airline added 11 cent to finish at €6.99, while Aer Lingus closed 1.5 cent stronger at €1.39.
Smurfit Kappa fell 3 cent to €16.77 after saying it had completed a new five-year trade receivables securitisation programme of up to €240 million, maturing in June 2019.
Hotel company Dalata also weakened, falling 0.9 cent to €2.941 on decent volumes.
UK stocks were little changed, ending a three-day losing streak, with a jump in London Stock Exchange Group offsetting a slump in Barclays.
The FTSE 100 Index rose 1.5 points, or less than 0.1 per cent, to 6,735.1 at the close of trading in London after losing 1.3 per cent in the past three days. The broader FTSE All-Share Index rose 0.2 per cent.
LSE climbed the most since July 2013 as it agreed to buy Frank Russell for $2.7 billion in an effort to bolster its international business.
Persimmon and Barratt Developments rose more than 4.5 per cent each after the Bank of England introduced measures to limit riskier mortgages and prevent a build-up of consumer debt. Barclays slid to its lowest price since November 2012 after the New York attorney general filed a complaint over its private trading venue.
European markets were fairly flat, following a four-day decline. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped less than 0.1 per cent to 341.86 at the close in London. The gauge slid as much as 0.5 per cent earlier in the day, on the back of the comments on US interest rates.
National benchmark indexes retreated in nine of the 18 markets in western Europe. Germany’s Dax lost 0.6 per cent and France’s Cac 40 slid 0.5 per cent.
US stocks fell for the third time in four days on Mr Bullard’s suggestion that interest rates may rise by March, while a report showed consumer spending rose less than forecast.
Bed Bath and Beyond fell 9 per cent after forecasting profit below analysts’ estimates amid competition from online retailers. Philip Morris declined 2.7 per cent after cutting its earnings forecast.
Alcoa rallied after agreeing to buy an aircraft-parts company. “There’s a multitude of factors driving the market lower,” said Joe Bell, senior equity analyst at Cincinnati-based Schaeffer’s Investment Research.
–(Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters)