Wall Street fails to lift markets as profit-taking continues


The latest surge of the Wall Street bull market failed to filter through to European market and modest profit-taking continued to dog some of the bigger Irish shares. Investors were happy to take profit from Irish Permanent in particular ahead of results next week.

If Irish Permanent does meet earnings forecast, it will put the bank on a price/earnings ratio of more than 24 and that sort of premium against other Irish banks and the British banks seems difficult to sustain. The shares fell 10p to 945p yesterday and may find it difficult to make ground unless there is another increase across the market.

Other financials were mixed with AIB up 8p on 815p, Bank of Ireland down 15p on £12.25, Anglo Irish 1p easier on 159p while Irish Life dropped 5p to 502p.

Industrials were also mixed with CRH 3p easier on 875p and Smurfit unchanged on 198p. Elan rose £1.88 to £40.49 as the shares jumped $13/8 in New York to $563/8, just short of an all-time high.

Golden Vale continued to be the focus of activity ahead of today's results and the changes to the share register after the sale of IIU 8 per cent stake, mainly to Standard Life and Scottish Provident. The shares reached a new high, closing on the equivalent of 1151/2p in a late sterling-denominated deal.

The Galmoy strike is so far having no effect on the Arcon shares, with the price up 3p to 33p yesterday, Fyffes was 2p higher on 142p while Kerry hit a new high, closing up 5p on 860p.