Quiet day of trading for Irish stocks
IT WAS a quiet day of trading on the Irish Stock Exchange yesterday, with business muted as US markets closed for the Labor Day holiday.
“There wasn’t a lot of volume or price action,” is how one Dublin trader summed it up.
It was a similar story across Europe. The volume of shares changing hands in Stoxx Europe 600 Index companies was 35 per cent lower than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
FYFFES, WHICH is listed on the junior ESM market, was the big mover on the day, up 6.38 per cent at 50 cent.
The fruit importer delivered a strong increase in profits for the first half of the year, driven by organic growth in each of its product categories.
Fyffes also increased its 2012 full-year target Ebitda range to €28-€33 million from €25-€30 million previously.
“The results went down well with the market,” commented one Dublin trader.
Builders merchanting and DIY group Grafton was up just under 3.6 per cent at €3.17, albeit on small volumes.
Packaging group Smurfit Kappa rose almost 3.4 per cent to €6.70. The company yesterday announced the details of a €200 million bond offering by one of its subsidiaries.
Financial stock IFG was the main loser on the day, down 4.9 per cent at €1.521.
Independent News Media was 2.6 per cent lower at 18.5 cent while Elan was just over 2 per cent down at €8.917.
BRITISH STOCKS advanced, after two weeks of losses, as mining shares pushed the benchmark FTSE 100 Index higher.
BHP Billiton gained 1 per cent after La Tercera reported that the world’s biggest mining company signed a 20-year contract with Chile’s GNL Mejillones.
Lonmin added 1.4 per cent after South African prosecutors suspended murder charges against workers striking at the company’s mine.
Phoenix IT Group slumped the most since its 2004 listing after reporting accounting irregularities at its Servo unit.
UK homebuilders advanced as analysts recommended Bovis Homes Group.
The FTSE 100 Index advanced 0.8 per cent to 5,758.41 at the close in London, the most in a month.
The gauge has gained 9.5 percent since the 2012 low on June 1st as European Central Bank president Mario Draghi pledged to do all it takes to preserve the euro.
A gauge of manufacturing in the 17-nation euro area based on a survey of purchasing managers was revised lower to 45.1 from the reading of 45.3 estimated earlier, London-based Markit Economics said.
The index, which stood at 44 in July, has held below 50 for 13 months, indicating contraction.
EUROPEAN STOCKS rose the most in a month as an unexpected decline in Chinese manufacturing boosted speculation the government will announce further stimulus.
Brinks group Davide Campari-Milano surged 8 per cent after agreeing to buy Lascelles deMercado and Co, the Jamaican maker of Appleton rum.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.8 per cent to 268.47 at the close of trading, the largest gain since August 3rd.
The benchmark gauge has risen 15 per cent from this year’s low on June 4th amid speculation central banks will undertake further so-called quantitative easing, or QE, to support the economy.
“We are waiting anxiously for the US to see whether they are going to do QE3, to see what the European Central Bank is going to do and what China is going to do,” Nick Maroutsos, who oversees about $2.9 billion as managing director and co-founder of Sydney-based Kapstream Capital, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.
“Tis the season for stimulus, in terms of monetary policy as well as fiscal policy.”
National benchmark indexes gained in all western European markets, except for Greece and Iceland.
France’s Cac-40 rose 1.2 per cent, while Germany’s Dax climbed 0.6 per cent.
Euro-area manufacturing contracted more than initially estimated in August, suggesting the economy may struggle to avoid a recession in the third quarter.
States in the euro zone are this week asking investors to stake more than €20 billion on second-guessing the ECB, selling the most debt in two months before the central bank’s meeting on September 6th.
Spain, France, Austria and Belgium return to the market after a month-long pause, with Germany also selling debt.
The auctions take place before the ECB’s meeting in Frankfurt, where president Mario Draghi may reveal details of a new bond-buying program. – (Additional reporting by Bloomberg)