Banks show marginal gain in quiet trade


A quiet trading day on European and US stock markets was reflected on the ISEQ yesterday which finished almost unchanged, down just 0.18 per cent at 5,254.49.

Financial stocks, which slipped to record lows on Monday, strengthened despite poor trading volumes yesterday. Bank of Ireland recovered from a three-year low to finish up two cents at #5.70 and AIB added 10 cents to its value to finish at #8.65. However, the smaller financials had a tougher time with Anglo Irish Bank losing two cents to finish #2.10 and Irish Life & Permanent closing down 20 cents at #7.60.

One analyst said he could find no explanation for the low price of Irish Life & Permanent which he said made it a "take out" target.

On foot of a good set of results Kerry's price jumped 12 cents to finish trading at #11.95. CRH added 35 cents to finish at #17.65 and Grafton was up 50 cents to #25.50.

One analyst suggested there was still a good deal of foreign interest in Independent News & Media although the stock finished down one cent at #10.92. "People are taking another look at stock evaluations," said the analyst, who suggested the 12 cents fall by Fyffes, which finished the day at #3.43, illustrated the re-evaluation trend.

Some second line stocks generated interest among investors. Tullow Oil moving ahead by 10 cents to finish at #1.48 and Green Property adding five cents at #5.50.

The main losers of the day were Ryanair down 21 cents at #9.40 and Rapid Technology down 20 cents at #4.50. Elsewhere on the markets Baltimore Technologies was up 1.5 per cent at $205 on the Nasdaq as the market closed.