Iseq creeps up as banks gain
The Iseq index of stocks and shares was trading up almost 1 per cent at 12.30pm on the back of strong showings from financial stocks.
AIB, buoyed by the sale of its Polish arm Zachondi, was trading at 78 cent, up 4.4 per cent, having surged as much as 7 per cent in early trading.
Bank of Ireland and Irish Life and Permanent were both trading positively this morning, gaining 4 per cent and 3.7 per cent.
Analysts also expressed confidence that Irish banks would be capable of meeting new capital requirements outlined by the Basel Banking Committee and designed to rein in the risk taking in the financial sector.
Iseq heavyweight CRH was trading up 26 cent at €13.45. Ryanair and Aer Lingus made gains of 1.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.
Kerry Group, which said it had received 82.49 per cent of acceptances in its offer for Newmarket Co-operative Creameries Limited, was trading down 0.5 per cent at €25.70.
Software group Norkom, having warned that earnings for the first half of its financial year are likely to fall, shed 35 cent and was trading down 28 per cent at 90 cent at 12.30pm.
News of new banking regulations and strong economic data in China lifted banking and mining stocks today, ensuring the FTSE 100 Index continued to gain.
The top flight, which set a four-month high on Friday, lifted 60 points to 5562.2 after investors were also cheered by a positive session in Asia.
Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group were both higher, up 1.3p at 49.9p and 2.1p to 77.8p respectively, as analysts said UK banks were well positioned in the wake of Basel rules for minimum capital ratio requirements.
Also responding positively to the news were the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, which climbed 0.8 per cent to its highest level in more than four months, and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which recorded a gain of 1.4 per cent.
Additional reporting - Agencies