Iseq index advances on moves for Green Reit and Kingspan

Reassurance on European economic sentiment and strong US earnings drive markets

Global stocks edged higher on Tuesday after strong US earnings releases and German data provided reassurance about economic sentiment in Europe’s biggest economy.


Dublin's Iseq index rose 0.61 per cent on the day helped by big moves in Green Reit and Kingspan.

Following on from Monday's announcement of a possible sale, Green Reit rose 3.54 per cent to €1.70. The company said that its shares were undervalued compared to its net book value.

Insulation maker Kingspan rose 2.92 per cent in Dublin to €45.84 after making an offer to buy the insulation and flexible foams business of Belgian mattress manufacturer Recticel for €700 million.


Ryanair traded heavily on the day and posted a 6 per cent intraday move before settling up 1.67 per cent at €12.18. It had fallen as low as €11.55 on the day after an update from Lufthansa on Monday night. Lufthansa said that a recovery is expected in the second quarter of the year with strong recovery in fares resulting from Brexit being kicked down the road.

Paddy Power was another strong performer, rising 1.93 per cent to €75.04. It is up 9 per cent so far this month after data from New Jersey showed their market share there was 55 per cent.

Finally, paper and packaging giant Smurfit Kappa bounced higher at the end of the day to close at 0.19 per cent to €26.75. The move came despite its rival, International Paper, being downgraded by Bank of America analysts.


The FTSE 100 added 0.4 per cent after hitting its highest point since October 4th as a dip in the pound boosted blue-chip exporter stocks.

Among a handful of blue-chip losers was Sainsbury’s which gave up 1.2 per cent after brokerage Bernstein cut its price target and said it could not consider the stock as a “buy-case”.

On the FTSE 250, JD Sports was at an all-time high with an 8.4 per cent leap as millennials’ fondness for athleisure wear helped the company defy Britain’s retail gloom and beat full-year earnings expectations.

Capping gains on the index was Galliford Try, which plunged to a near seven-year low and ended the day with a 20.5 per cent slump after saying it was undertaking a strategic review of its construction business that would lead to a fall in annual profit.


European shares ended at an eight-month high on Tuesday, bolstered by banking and financial stocks, upbeat data from China and the improving economic mood in Germany.

Italy's top bank, UniCredit, rose more than 3 per cent after it and two subsidiaries agreed to pay $1.3 billion to US authorities to settle investigations of violations of US sanctions on Iran and other countries.

Elsewhere, Zalando rose more than 10 per cent and emerging as the best performer on the STOXX after the e-commerce company said it expected to post an operating profit for the first quarter.

Among the biggest drags on the index were oil stocks including BP, Total and Royal Dutch Shell tracking declining crude prices.


US stocks edged higher on Tuesday, as an advance in technology shares and a jump in Johnson & Johnson following strong results countered losses in UnitedHealth and Bank of America.

Johnson & Johnson gained 4.5 per cent after the healthcare conglomerate beat quarterly profit estimates and raised its adjusted sales growth forecast for the year.

Bank of America declined 2.2 per cent after quarterly revenue fell short of expectations, weighing the most on the benchmark S&P index.

Insurer UnitedHealth Group reversed course to trade down 4.5 per cent as better-than-expected quarterly results failed to soothe concerns over a possible overhaul of the rebate system. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business