Irish market returns to positive territory

Wed, Aug 24, 2011, 01:00

Irish equities underperformed the wider European market for a second day, but managed to return to positive territory on the back of strong corporate earnings.

Brokers noted that markets across Europe were buoyed by better than expected durable goods statistics in the US and receding fears about the health of European banks.

There was “only good news” in the Irish market today, one broker said, with FBD and Glanbia reporting very positive numbers.

Insurer FBD's first-half results - which showed a return to profitability driven by a jump in operating profits of more than 150 per cent - significantly exceeded forecasts and were well received by analysts and investors. Its share price soared to a daily high of €6.80, but settled back to €6.35 by the close. This represented a gain of more than 4 per cent, or 25 cent.

Food group Glanbia also surprised very much to the upside, announcing a 33 per cent increase in first-half revenues and raising its full-year targets, and touched €4.30 at one point. Though it pared its gains somewhat to close at €4.17, it was still almost 3 per cent higher on the day.

Overall the Iseq rose about 1.3 per cent 2,470.30.

National benchmark indexes advanced in all of the 18 western European markets, except Greece and Iceland. France's CAC 40 rose 1.8 per cent, the UK 's FTSE 100 gained 1.5 per cent and Germany's DAX Index climbed 2.7 per cent.

Additional reporting - Bloomberg