Internet, rates and results fuel Dublin rally


Receding pressure on British interest rates, a boost from Internet-connected stocks and positive reaction to recent corporate developments helped the Irish market to its best one-day performance for many months. The ISEQ Overall Index was up almost 3 per cent, but dealers warned that any sustained recovery was likely to be punctuated by periodic profit-taking.

AIB's Internet banking and e-commerce development was one on the factors behind AIB's 54 3/4 cent rise to €8.99 3/4 and contrasts with Bank of Ireland's 3 1/2 cent rise to €6.10. AIB is seen in the market as being further advanced than Bank of Ireland in the area of Internet banking and that probably accounts for the differing multiples being applied to both shares.

The growth of its online booking business was the main reason for Ryanair's 75 cent jump to a new high of €7.50 while DCC was 70 cents higher on €12.25 after Mr Jim Flavin's comments at the Merrion Capital Internet conference about the prospects for the group's Sercom division. CRH was boosted by a positive response to the management's results presentation and the shares were up 23 cents on €18.23.

Smurfit, however, did not benefit from a series of upgrades with some in the market cautious about the group's comments about increasing capacity next year. The shares were down three cents on €2.32. Eircom also bucked the upward trend and was five cents lower on €4.50.

First Active jumped 17 cents to €2.57 for no immediately apparent reason while Fyffes was five cents easier on €3.35 with news that its Internet subsidiary was due for an end-year flotation coming too late for the market.