Financial stocks rise in tandem with international bond markets


THE short end of the gilt market continued to push ahead firmly boosted by the strength of international bond markets. The strength of the domestic and international market also led to sustained demand for the leading Irish stocks, particularly the financials, although dealers said that trading volumes were down on the past few days.

Share price movements yesterday were insignificant but dealers said that the market was well-supported. Among the financials - which tend to trade in line with bond markets - AIB gained 2p to 369p while Bank of Ireland drifted 2p lower on 490p.

Irish Life gained a penny to a new high of 253p while Irish Permanent also hit a new high of 455p, a 5p gain on the day. Woodchester closed 5p higher on 200p, boosted by some speculative buying in anticipation of a sale of its controlling stake by Credit Lyonnais.

Among the industrials, Smurfit underperformed the US paper sector, which was up 1.6 per cent overnight, and fell 1p to 169p while CRH drifted 2p lower to 635p.

Avonmore was unchanged on 172p with some rumours in the market of a US acquisition while the usual shortage of stock pushed Kerry up 5p to a new high of 675p.

Greencore was 4p higher on 355p with investors taking the view that the latest row with farmers over beet prices was just the usual tub-thumping. Golden Vale lost 2p to 58p, Independent gained 3p to 328p ahead of Friday's e.g.m. on the Wilson & Horton bid, while IAWS was 2p higher on 163p.