Dragon Oil lifts Iseq index higher

Iseq closes up 0.35 per cent at 4977.06 with Dragon Oil up 6 per cent

Investors continud to react positively to the announcement that Dragon Oil expects to drill 14-16 wells this year

Investors continud to react positively to the announcement that Dragon Oil expects to drill 14-16 wells this year

 

European shares were little changed today, having retreated earlier in the day as steel pipe makers Tenaris and Vallourec slid 4.5 per cent after a US trade ruling hurt the region’s steel pipe industry.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.1 per cent to 334.94 at the close after earlier dropping as much as 0.6 per cent. European Equities National benchmark indexes dropped in six of the 18 western-European markets. The FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX added less than 0.1 per cent, while France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.2 per cent. In Dublin, the Iseq closed up 0.35 per cent at 4977.06.

Dublin

Dragon Oil was the main mover on the Iseq yesterday, gaining 6 per cent to close at €7.69, as investors continued to react positively to the announcement that the explorer expects to drill 14-16 wells this year and around 20 wells in 2015, in a bid to meet its 100,000 barrels per day production target from next year.

The market reacted well to news that Independent News & Media will not be partaking in a proposed equity issue announced by APN News & Media.

APN News & Media, in which Independent News & Media has a 28.95 per cent stake, plans to raise $132 million to purchase the remaining 50 per cent of its Australian and New Zealand radio assets from US venture partner Clear Channel.

Aer Lingus closed unchanged at €1.62 as investors wait for a deal to be struck over the 780 million shortfall in the pension scheme operated by the airline and Dublin Airport Authority. Ryanair, which gained almost 1 per cent on Tuesday after repurchasing 109.000 shares as part ofits plans to return €1billion to shareholders, fell 0.6 per cent to €7.32.

Bank of Ireland put in a solid performance closing up 0.6 per cent to 34 cents. C&C finished the day positively, up 1 per cent to €4.71.

London

Stocks were little changed, after a three-day gain, as investors weighed minutes from the Bank of England’s meeting and data that showed unemployment in the nation unexpectedly rose.

Sports Direct International rallied higher after a buoyant trading update saw it buck lacklustre trading on the wider FTSE 100 Index.

The sportswear chain, which is controlled by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, was the biggest riser in the top tier as shares rose 7 per cent after it overcame testing year-on-year comparisons to report an 11 per cent leap in sales. It closed up 51pence to 767pence as its update came as a relief to investors following disappointment over half-year results in December.

BAE Systems lost early session gains despite saying it had finally agreed pricing terms with Saudi Arabia on a long-running deal for 72 Typhoon aircraft. It said the terms of the agreement were broadly consistent with the company’s previous trading outlook for 2013, but shares closed 0.8pence lower at 436.8pence.

Europe

Italy’s Tenaris, which generated 49 per cent of its 2012 revenue from North America, slid 6.9 per cent to €15.96, while France’s Vallourec, which got 29 per cent of sales from the region, retreated 4.5 per cent to €37.41 after The US Commerce Department refrained from imposing anti-dumping penalties on imports of steel tubing from South Korea.

Dutch publisher Wolters Kluwer declined 4.4 per cent to €20.70 after forecasting restructuring costs of €25 million to €30 million in 2014.

Lafarge gained 3.2 per cent to €54.30 as the world’s second-biggest cement maker said fourth-quarter net income rose to €213 million from €83 million a year earlier. Carlsberg jumped 7.1 per cent to 585 kroner. The Danish brewer reported fourth-quarter earnings before interest and taxes of 2.32 billion kroner. The company also posted sales of 15.7 billion kroner for the period, beating the 15.5 billion-krone average forecast.

Wall Street

US stocks were mixed in early trading amid caution ahead of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting, and as investors brushed off weak housing data. The Dow Jones industrial average index rebounded after underperforming the broader market in the previous session, led by gains in Chevron and American Express.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40.49 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 16,170.89, the S&P 500 gained 0.37 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 1,841.13 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 14.249 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 4,258.535.