Market fails to get benefit from rebound on Wall Street trading
The Irish market failed to get much benefit from the rebound on Wall Street and closed down marginally on the day, with financial shares once again enjoying the most attention.
Today, however, should see some recovery in Dublin and the index should move back above the 3700 level.
Bank of Ireland was 1p easier on 887p but both Davy and Goodbody have raised their full-year forecasts for Bank after the bumper first-half figures. Davy has increased its 1997-89 profit forecast from £460 million to £512.4 million and its EPS forecast from 60p to 66.4p, while Goodbody has increased its 1997-98 EPS forecast by 11 per cent to 65.7p.
For 1998-99, Davy is significantly more positive, with an EPS forecast of 72.7p, while Goodbody is expecting 69.2p. Despite the increase in its forecasts, Goodbody still rates Bank as no more than a "hold" because of the competitive situation in the US where Bank's Citizens associate may be facing stiffer competition.
Elsewhere, AIB eased 5p to 578p, Irish Life lost 5p to 343p, while Irish Permanent was 3p lower on 660p. Among the industrials, Smurfit gave up some of Tuesday's strong gains and was down 4p at the close on 190p, while CRH was 3 1/2p higher on 768 1/2p.
Ryanair put in the best performance of the day and was up 13p to 338p, with the market paying little notice to British Airways' plans to set up a rival low-cost airline. Other low-cost operators such as easyJet and Debonair are likely to be more vulnerable than Ryanair - with its strong profit record and well-padded balance sheet.