Markets subdued amid slow trading

Fri, Oct 5, 2012, 01:00

THERE WERE a few ripples but no waves on the markets yesterday where trading remained relatively slow.

“In general the markets have been and continue to be quite subdued while volumes remain relatively light,” one trader noted, adding that the only real movement was ahead of the ECB press conference. It prompted a “bit of an uptick” into the conference, but that had petered out by the afternoon.

Unemployment claims statistics released in the US at lunchtime were steady, in that fewer Americans had made new unemployment insurance claims than had been expected.

In the opinion of one stockbroker, that had kept the markets on an even keel.

DUBLIN

IT WAS quiet on the Iseq yesterday with one trader saying: “The upshot is markets are relatively flat. The Iseq was down nine points over the day and the FTSE was up two points, so very small moves across Europe.”

It was “steady as she goes” for Aer Lingus, according to the same analyst, who noted that the release of positive passenger figures driven mainly by a better long-haul performance had helped this.

“Aer Lingus has been performing quite well,” another trader said, noting that the company closed at €1.095 having risen by 1.39 per cent , bringing it closer to breaking €1.10.

Ryanair, meanwhile, was up almost 0.5 per cent over the course of the day, closing at €4.5, which one analyst attributed to “reasonable sentiment” in recent days.

While CRH has drifted somewhat recently, it generated reasonable volumes, about 3 million, across both the Irish and British markets finishing 1.05 per cent lower, down to €14.62.

C&C meanwhile was up by 2.11 per cent at the end of trading, closing at €3.824.

Bank of Ireland breached the 10 cents mark, closing at 10.1 cents on the day, up 3.06 per cent. One trader noted was not a huge price, meaning it did not take a lot to move it.

LONDON

THE UK’s FTSE 100 Index closed little changed, after swinging between gains and losses at least 20 times yesterday, as central-bank policy makers kept borrowing costs at record lows.

Next and Kingfisher led retailers higher, advancing more than 1 per cent. Tate and Lyle climbed 1.9 per cent as Credit Suisse Group raised its recommendation for the shares.

Tesco lost 3 per cent to 318.15 pence, the largest decline in almost nine months.

Commodity producers declined.

BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, fell 1.6 per cent to 1,912.5p. Xstrata lost 2.1 per cent to 948.3p. Glencore slid 0.8 per cent to 336.5 pence and BP, Europe’s second-largest oil company, retreated 1.1 per cent to 434.2p.

EUROPE

EUROPEAN stocks closed little changed as the European Central Bank and the Bank of England left their benchmark interest rates on hold.

Nobel Biocare slid 4.3 per cent as the healthcare company said a deteriorating Japanese market would hurt full-year profit.

ThyssenKrupp gained 2.3 per cent on a report that Korean steelmaker Posco submitted a letter of intent for its American unit. Halfords Group surged the most to date after saying earnings would be in the upper half of its forecast.

BMW rose 3.2 per cent to €59.76 after the German car-maker said group sales in China rose 59 per cent in September. Fiat gained 2.1 per cent to €4.44 and Daimler climbed 1.2 per cent to €38.51. Preferred shares of Volkswagen advanced 2.9 per cent to €145.35.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell less than 0.1 per cent to 271.33 at the close of trading, having fluctuated between gains and losses at least 20 times. The gauge has still climbed 11 per cent this year as ECB policymakers agreed on an unlimited asset-purchase programme to bring down borrowing costs in Spain and Italy.

US

US STOCKS rose, sending the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index higher for a fourth day, as reports on jobless claims and factory orders were better than forecast and the European Central Bank said it stands ready to buy bonds

Consol Energy, the largest US coal miner by market value, surged 5.5 per cent to $31.33. Peabody Energy gained 4.3 per cent to $22.74.

Among retailers, Gap gained 0.9 per cent to $37.09. Same-store sales at the biggest US specialty-apparel retailer climbed 6 per cent in September, beating the average estimate for a 5.3 per cent gain from analysts. Target added 1.1 per cent to $63.77. The second-largest US discounter posted a 2.1 per cent increase in same-store sales, topping the 2 per cent projection.

Ryder climbed 5.5 per cent to $41.35. The truck-leasing company’s efforts to lower costs would help earnings, Alexander Brand, an analyst with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, said in a note, raising the stock’s rating to buy from neutral.

Sprint Nextel lost 2.8 per cent to $5.06. – (Additional reporting Bloomberg/Reuters)