Iseq dips during 'gloomy Monday'

Mon, Jan 25, 2010, 00:00

Iseq 3,016.03 (-20.91 at close): Once again the Iseq index outperformed the main European markets on what was described by a broker as another gloomy January Monday.

After the Dublin market closed last Friday evening, the US market continued its three-day slide (sparked by President Obama’s plans to curb risk-taking at banks) by falling a further 2 per cent. As a result the Iseq opened weak this morning. It then bounced back, only to dip again in the afternoon on the news that US home sales slid more than expected in December.

Irish banking stocks traded more or less unchanged for most of the session, despite media speculation over the weekend that the ’haircut’ on loans transferred to the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) may be higher than the expected 30 per cent.

AIB closed down less than 4 cent, just below €1.37, while Bank of Ireland was off a little over 1 cent at €1.42.

Packaging giant Smurfit Kappa proved the star performer on the day, gaining more than 4 per cent, or 26 cent, to €6.38. This pretty much rectified the “kicking” the stock had received last Friday “for no apparent reason”, one broker said.

Brokers noted that a few sellers came into the oil exploration names. Dragon Oil was off 4 cent at €4.97, while Tullow Oil lost more than €1 - almost 7 per cent - to close at €14.31 on the Dublin market. On the London Stock Exchange the stock shed 1.33 per cent to £12.61.

European stocks fell for a fourth day, the longest losing streak in two months. The UK's FTSE 100 slid 0.8 per cent, France's CAC 40 fell 1 per cent and Germany's DAX retreated 1.1 per cent.

(Additional reporting - Bloomberg)