Bank of Ireland bounces back following recent dip
UK FTSE and German Dax post record closes as Iseq index experiences slow day
A rally on Wall Street paused on Thursday following lacklustre quarterly earnings from JPMorgan and Citigroup.
There were record closes for the UK’s FTSE and Germany’s benchmark index Dax, but it was a slow day on the Iseq index.
Bank of Ireland traded up 1.2 per cent to return to recent highs on Thursday, and was the main mover on the Iseq index, which finished the day flat.
“Bank of Ireland has been underperforming but had a good, strong day, and was the biggest mover on the market,” noted an analyst with Davy.
In aviation, Ryanair finished the day down 1 per cent. “The rest of the sector rallied, while it underperformed,” said the analyst. “There was news that Air Berlin has been sold to Lufthansa, but Ryanair was never going to be a bidder for it.”
Building materials group CRH traded down 0.5 per cent, while packaging company Smurfit Kappa, following recent pressure and a profit warning on Wednesday, made back some of the ground it lost, finishing the day up 1 per cent.
Other movers included Paddy Power, which was up 0.5 per cent on light volume.
Independent News and Media finished flat on the day, after the company waited until the closure of the stock market to announce the departure of its chief executive Robert Pitt following a boardroom spat with chairman Leslie Buckley.
Glenveagh Properties, following its successful initial public offering, finished down 0.5 per cent following some profit taking. Cairn Homes moved up 0.5 per cent “on the strength of Glenveagh over the past couple of days”.
Britain’s top share index enjoyed a record close on Thursday, boosted by a fresh fall in sterling after the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said talks were in deadlock.
Britain’s FTSE 100 ended the day up 0.3 per cent, at 7,556.24 points, its highest ever closing level. The heavily internationally-exposed index earlier hit its highest intraday level in three months as the pound tumbled.
Budget airline easyJet gained 2.5 per cent after German peer Lufthansa said it would sign a deal to buy part of insolvent carrier Air Berlin, adding to signs of consolidation in the industry.
Energy suppliers Centrica and SSE recovered from their earlier losses, closing up 1.9 and 2.5 per cent respectively after a draft Bill to cap electricity prices revealed few details about the specifics of the cap, dispelling investors’ fears.
Germany’s stocks benchmark index Dax rose above 13,000 points for the first time in its 30-year history, as relatively attractive valuations and optimism about global economic growth continued to lure investors.
The export-oriented index, the biggest in the euro zone with a market value of €1.2 trillion, rose as much as 0.2 per cent to 13,002 points before ending up 0.1 per cent, while the broader pan-European Stoxx 600 index was flat.
The Dax is up 13 per cent so far this year and is on course to end its sixth straight year of gains, as equities in the region found support in years of expansionary monetary policies and signs of continued strength in corporate earnings.
On Thursday it got an extra lift as the euro pulled back and worries eased over a big political crisis in Spain after an illegal independence referendum in wealthy region Catalonia.
A rally on Wall Street paused on Thursday following lacklustre quarterly earnings from JPMorgan and Citigroup, and as media stocks dropped for the second straight day.
The two banks managed to beat profit and revenue estimates despite reporting a drop in trading revenue. JPMorgan fell about 1 per cent, while Citigroup dropped more than 2 per cent.
Bank of America and Wells Fargo, scheduled to report on Friday, were also lower, dragging the financials index down 0.39 per cent. With the S&P 500 up about 14 per cent in 2017, investors are betting on strong earnings growth to sustain the valuation.
AT&T tumbled more than 4 per cent after the number two US wireless carrier said it had lost 90,000 US video subscribers in the third quarter due to intense competition and the impact of recent hurricanes.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 3.94 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 22,868.95. The S&P 500 was down 1.79 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 2,553.45. The Nasdaq Composite was up 4.16 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 6,607.71. – (Additional reporting: agencies)