Figures from US do little to boost low trading volumes


MARKET REPORT: Volumes in Dublin were so low yesterday that traders likened the session to a bank holiday. There was little move for the indices with the ISEQ overall gaining just 0.4 per cent to 4,221.85.

Settlement Date: September 19th

"It's been a terrible day with no volumes," said one trader. Hopes of a boost from US figures on business inventories fell flat despite mildly positive figures. "Between the impending start of the third-quarter results season and uncertainty over a war against Iraq, the market is struggling to find direction."

Kingspan traded in reasonable volume as the building materials group continued to buy back shares. It spent more than €5.5 million yesterday snapping up 1.65 per cent of the stock and has now bought back almost 2.5 per cent of the company since its interim results last Wednesday. The shares ended down seven cents at €2.01.

Results from Independent News & Media saw the shares rise 10 cents from an all-time low of €1.40 but failed to convince many in the market. Some brokerages said last night that they would be downgrading the media group marginally for the rest of this year and next amid concern over the scale of the debt. Another media group, Ulster Television, fared better among analysts, some of whom were talking about an upgrade of its prospects after an unexpected rise in underlying operating profit. The shares rose a penny in London to 376.5p sterling but were unchanged in Dublin.

Technology group Parthus fell again in London, giving up 2p sterling to 15p ahead of an extraordinary meeting next week. Analysts said people were selling ahead of the completion of a proposed merger with US/Israeli group DSP Group.