Iseq performs well after heavyweight stock CRH upgraded

Mining drags FTSE down as Apple dissapoints suppliers with late iPhone shipping

CRH: the firm’s stock, which accounts for almost a quarter of the Iseq,  gained 0.4 per cent after  Morgan Stanley raised its stance   to “equal-weight”, the equivalent of “hold”, from “underweight”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

CRH: the firm’s stock, which accounts for almost a quarter of the Iseq, gained 0.4 per cent after Morgan Stanley raised its stance to “equal-weight”, the equivalent of “hold”, from “underweight”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

The Iseq stock index in Dublin edged higher on Wednesday, outperforming a weak equities performance across Europe, as index heavyweight CRHbenefitted from a broker upgrade from Morgan Stanley.

The Iseq added 0.1 per cent to 6,733.80, while the pan-European Stoxx 600 index dipped by 0.02 per cent to 381.34 and the FTSE 100 in London lost 0.3 per cent to 7,379.70.

DUBLIN

CRH gained 0.4 per cent to €29.63 as the stock, which accounts for almost a quarter of the Iseq, as analysts at Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley raised their stance on the stock to “equal-weight”, the equivalent of “hold”, from “underweight”.

Morgan Stanley said its more positive view has been driven by drop in CRH’s stock market value in recent months and disclosure last month that it had sold its Americas distribution business for $2.63 billion (€2.2 billion) as it focuses on getting rid of non-core assets.

Permanent TSB was also in demand, rising 2.7 per cent to €1.69, recovering some of the ground lost recent amid concerns about the price the lender may be forced to accept to sell off non-performing loans amid regulatory pressure to draw a line under the issue.

Applegreen added 1.7 per cent to €5.90 as the fuel forecourt retailer continued to bask in the glory of a well-received set of first-half results issued on Tuesday.

However, Providence Resources lost a further 1.6 per cent to 6.3c, extending losses earlier in the week when it emerged that the company had abandoned a second oil prospect in as many months after discovering little more than water in both.

LONDON

The FTSE’s underperformance of the wider European market was largely a result of sterling’s rebound on Tuesday to a six-week high of 89p against the euro and near one-year high versus the dollar. This was amid heightened speculation that a surprise jump in UK inflation may prompt the Bank of England to move to raise interest rates earlier than expected.

A raft of mining stocks were weighing particularly on the UK market, with Antofagasta falling 3.9 per cent and Anglo American declining by 2.9 per cent.

Halfords rose 1.7 per cent amid news that the retailer had named Graham Stapleton – the head of Dixons Carphone’s software business Honeybee – as its new chief executive.

Mr Stapleton will start in his post on January 15th, succeeding Jill McDonald, who is leaving at the end of this month to lead Marks & Spencer’s fashion and homewares arm.

EUROPE

France’s Cac 40 and Germany Dax each closed higher by 0.2 per cent, though suppliers of Apple were out of sorts as the tech giant disappointed with a later-than-expected shipping date for its new iPhone of November 3rd.

Chipmakers supplying to Apple were among the worst performers, with AMS down 3.9 percent, while Dialog Semiconductor slipped 1.6 per cent.

Richemont fell 1.2 per cent despite reporting better-than-expected sales for its first half thanks to a recovery in the Asian luxury market. UBS analysts said weaker retail growth may weigh on sentiment.

Peer Swatch also fell 3.9 per cent, with some traders citing concerns that Apple’s new watch could also dent the watchmaker’s shares.

NEW YORK

US stocks were little changed on Wednesday afternoon as Apple-led losses in tech stocks were offset by gains in consumer discretionary and energy stocks, which helped the S&P 500 inch up to a record intra-day high.

Apple dropped 1.2 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.04 per cent, at 22,126.77 while S&P 500 lost 0.03 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.05 per cent.

Target rose 2.3 per cent after the retailer said it would hire 100,000 workers for the holiday season, 43 per cent more than last year.

McDonald’s gave the biggest boost to the Dow with a 0.9 per cent rise, while Amazon’s 0.7 percent rise led the Nasdaq higher.

Nordstrom gained 6.3 per cent, topping the consumer discretionary index after Reuters reported the founding family had selected private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners to help take it private.

– (Additional reporting: Reuters, Press Association)