Iseq creeps forward as European shares regain ground

FTSE 100 steadies near a one-month low as gains at BT and RSA offset declines

European equities rebounded from their biggest four-day drop since the height of the February slump amid earnings reports and rising crude prices.

Germany’s Dax rose 0.2 per cent, while in France the Cac 40 fell 0.3 per cent. The Iseq in Dublin was ahead by less than half of a per cent.

Britain's top share index, the FTSE 100, steadied near a one-month low as gains in companies such as BT and RSA offset declines by companies such as Centrica and Inmarsat after they gave discouraging updates.

Wall Street trimmed early gains but remained higher heading into in afternoon trading as the rise in oil prices boosted energy shares, and investors awaited US jobs data on Friday.



Volumes were very light on the Iseq

on Thursday.

Kingspan fell almost 0.5 per cent, despite a management statement that showed a 25 per cent rise in sales for the first four months of the year.

The update from the company also contained a positive outlook, and Kingspan was up 1.7 per cent at one point. However, a seller in the market in the late afternoon saw it fall into negative territory.

IRES, the property REIT, was up close to 1 per cent after the company said it grew its portfolio by 30 per cent in the first quarter. It has an investment war chest of €195 million.

Bank of Ireland slipped 2 per cent to 24.2 cent, while CPL Resources also fell back, by 2.5 per cent.

Tullow Oil finished the session up more than 7 per cent, on the back of the rise in crude prices.


Wm Morrison Supermarkets

increased 2.4 per cent after it said like-for-like sales grew 0.7 per cent in the first quarter of the year as the retailer’s turnaround under chief executive

David Potts

continues to gain traction.

The results represent the second consecutive quarter of growth at the grocer after four years of stagnation.

The company saw sales at its Food To Go division rocket more than 17 per cent year-on-year, and Morrisons said its Free From range sales grew 70 per cent.

Centrica tumbled 9.8 per cent after Britain’s biggest supplier of energy said it will sell shares.

Antofagasta and Anglo American helped a gauge of miners rebound from its biggest two-day plunge since 2011.

Inmarsat, which provides communications for shipping and aircraft, fell 7.2 per cent after the company cut its revenue guidance, citing a tough trading environment and weakening demand.


Energy producers climbed, with oil advancing after data showed that US production fell the most in eight months.


jumped 4.7 per cent after quarterly profit topped analysts’ projections as the performance at the refining and chemicals division compensated for low oil prices.

Mediaset Espana Comunicacion climbed 4.6 per cent as earnings beat projections. Mediaset SpA, its biggest owner, gained 2.6 per cent.

Rolls-Royce Holdings declined 2.3 per cent after the UK aero-engine maker said full-year earnings will be weighted toward the second half, and that any profit in the current six months will be “very, very small.”

New York

Tesla reversed premarket gains to trade down 3.5 per cent after analysts expressed doubts about the electric carmaker’s ability to deliver vehicles ahead of schedule.

Fitbit fell 16.6 per cent to $14.25 after the wearable fitness device maker’s profit forecast for the current quarter fell far short of analysts’ estimates.

Alibaba was up 4.1 per cent at $78.92 as China’s biggest e-commerce company said fourth-quarter revenue rose 39 per cent.

Kraft Heinz jumped as much as 5.2 per cent to a record high of $84.17 after its quarterly profit smashed analysts' estimates.

(Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters/PA)

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times