Iseq out­per­forms as CRH gets up­grade

FTSE 100 in Lon­don slips as min­ing stocks and in­fla­tion data weighed on mar­ket France’s Cac 40 and Ger­many’s Dax each closed higher by 0.2 per cent

The Irish Times - Business - - MARKETS - JOE BREN­NAN

The Iseq stock in­dex in Dublin edged higher yes­ter­day, out­per­form­ing a weak eq­ui­ties per­for­mance across Europe, as in­dex heavy­weight CRH ben­e­fit­ted 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’s 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.

NEW YORK

US stocks were lit­tle changed yes­ter­day 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.

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