Guarded investor optimism limits gains
The euro fell yesterday as worry over the threat to the world economy posed by the US “fiscal cliff” offset optimism from a deal to ease Greece’s debt burden, although stocks managed slight gains as investors showed guarded optimism.
The Dublin market was on a par with its European counterparts yesterday, edging higher, but only marginally.
The Iseq index of Irish shares finished up 6.69 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 3,257.
It was another strong day for mining and exploration company Kenmare Resources which rose 4.55 per cent. One Dublin stockbroker attributed the company’s good performance to a buy note by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
It was also a positive day for Bank of Ireland, rising 4.04 per cent. “It broke the key 10 cent level,” a Dublin-based broker said.
CRH, however, is still struggling to find friends, according to the broker, who questioned whether its dividend policy was under pressure. The stock was virtually unchanged yesterday.
Irish biotech firm Elan, meanwhile, declined 2.64 per cent to finish at €7.88.
Britain’s top shares rose yesterday, with banks gaining after a deal was reached over Greek debt. However, gains were capped as a global growth warning from the OECD subdued demand for energy-related stocks.
Royal Bank of Scotland led FTSE 100 risers, adding 3.5 per cent. Of British banks it is one of the most highly exposed to the Greek debt crisis, and lost £1.1 billion on Greek bond investments in 2011. Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group advanced at least 1 per cent.
Chemring jumped 3.6 per cent after the defence equipment maker reported results.
BAE Systems jumped the most in two months on speculation it may be a takeover target.
The FTSE 100 Index gained 12.99 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5,799.71 in London.
European shares edged higher yesterday after an agreement by international lenders to cut Greece’s debt gave some short-term support to investor sentiment.
Euro zone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund agreed late on Monday on measures to cut Greek debt by €40 billion by 2020, reducing it to 124 per cent of GDP and paving the way for Athens to receive its next installment of bailout cash.
French distiller Remy Cointreau surged 6.4 per cent after posting first-half operating profit that beat estimates.
SBM Offshore added 2.9 per cent after Barclays raised its recommendation on the stock.
Bankia, the Spanish lender whose nationalisation pushed the country towards a bailout for its banks, rallied 5 per cent to €1.06.
France’s CAC 40 was little changed, while Germany’s DAX rose 0.6 per cent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.3 per cent
US stocks were little changed, erasing earlier losses, as an agreement on aid for Greece and a better-than-forecast report on durable goods tempered concern about budget negotiations in Washington.
A number of companies, including Wal-Mart and Las Vegas Sands, have issued special dividends aimed at helping investors avoid what could be a substantially increased tax burden next year. That continued yesterday, with Supertex and Heico both announcing dividends. Heico climbed 3 per cent to $41.56, while Supertex rose 2.8 per cent to $17.31.
Corning jumped 7.4 per cent after boosting its outlook for the LCD glass supply chain.
Zions Bancorporation slid 3 per cent after the federal government said it plans to sell its holdings in the bank.
Airgas erased 2.5 per cent after the packaged-gases company’s executive chairman sold 1.2 million shares. Hewlett-Packard lost 1.5 per cent as technology hardware companies fell. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters