No major surprises as market continues on steady, firm path


THE Dublin market continued to trundle along steadily yesterday, with several stocks firming up, but no major surprises, analysts said. Various sources put the volume pushed through at between £25 million and £30 million.

Trading in the financial stocks remained firm. AIB closed up 2p at 328p, and was well bid. Bank of Ireland rose 4p on the day, finishing at 429p.

Irish Life which closed at 253p ex-dividend on Tuesday, gained 2p on the day. Irish Permanent closed unchanged at 372p.

Fitzwilton gained 3p to close at 48p. The share rose on the back of preliminary results which showed a 79 per cent increase in pre tax profit from £8.4 million in 1994 to £15 million last year. The results were broadly in line with brokers' predictions.

Lyons, which also announced results yesterday, closed unchanged at 325p having hit 327p at one stage. The tea group, Which is being acquired by Unilever Ireland, has recorded a fall in pre-tax profit from £4.736 million to £4.537 million in the six months ended March 2nd, 1996.

Waterford Wedgwood slipped back a up finishing at 661/2p, but was well bid. "Its results on Tuesday were well received," said one analyst, "and it doesn't show signs of going any lower.

Bidding own Smurfit, which will announce last year's results next week, was firm with the stock finishing 2p up on the day at 157p. The company is expected to announce record profits, but concern for the stock's future is affecting its price. "I don't see it going below 150p again," said one dealer. "The price has been firming up in the run up to next week's results."

Kerry was well bid but closed down 5p at 555p, while Greencore rose 1p to finish at 315p. Golden Vale and Waterford Folds were both well bid but closed unchanged from their previous day's prices. One dealer said the food stocks seemed to be enjoying a nice little run despite the BSE scare and speculated that some British investors may be switching food stock investments into Irish companies.

Independent Newspapers which has been enjoying a good run of late saw its share price slip back 3p yesterday to finish at 515p.

Crean fell 8p, finishing at 220p.

Tullow was up 1p on the day at 79p. Analysts said the price wad firmer on the back of speculation that it was about to announce" some drilling results.

Arnotts closed unchanged at 365p, retaining its rise in share value since it announced that it had been given the go ahead for a major extension to its Henry Street premises.