Iseq nears 12-month high as FTSE kicks off 2017 on a record high

Markets back to business after holiday season

A London Stock Exchange sign sits on glass in the atrium of the London Stock Exchange Group’s offices in London.  Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

A London Stock Exchange sign sits on glass in the atrium of the London Stock Exchange Group’s offices in London. Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

 

The Iseq index of Irish shares rose on the first day of trading in 2017 to its highest level in almost a year, recovering some of the ground lost last year in its first annual decline since 2010.

The benchmark index rose as much as 1.1 per cent on Tuesday morning to 5,585.56 points, before paring its gains back to 0.4 per cent.

Origin Enterprises gained 5 per cent, while Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB were each about 2.5 per cent higher and Smurfit Kappa advanced at a similar pace.

The Iseq had lost more than 4 per cent during the course of 2016.

Strength in financials and commodity-related stocks continued to underpin European equity markets with Britain’s FTSE 100 starting the new year at a record high.

Britain’s Ftse 100 rose 0.9 to hit a fresh record high of 7,205.21 points. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.97 per cent in early deals, climbing to its highest level since December 2015.

Among individual stock movers, Italian banks were once again among top risers, with newly-merged Banco BPM gaining 4.6 per cent on its second day of trading, building on a strong rise in the previous session.

Fellow banking stock Credit Suisse was also among top Stoxx gainers, with the European banking index rising 1 per cent.

Shares in British retailer Next were under pressure, however, after Deutsche Bank downgraded its rating on the stock to “hold” from “buy”.

(Additional reporting: Reuters.)