Bank shares continue recent rise

BANKING stocks enjoyed another good day’s trading yesterday as the ISEQ index of shares in Dublin crept forward marginally by 12.12, or just under half a percent, to 2,758.31 points.

Bank of Ireland gained another 27c – the same amount by which it grew on Tuesday – to close at 1.60.

AIB gained 6.29% – or 7c – to close at €1.23 and Irish Life & Permanent (IL&P) was up by a further 10c at €3.10.

FBD Insurance also had another positive day, rising by a further 40c (following Tuesday’s 22c gain) to €6.75.

There was good movement in many of Dublin’s non-financial stocks, also.

The two aviation stocks crept higher – Aer Lingus up by 3c to 64c and Ryanair up by 2c to €3.44.

Drug company, Elan was up another 4c to €5.30; medical devices and clinical trials specialist ICON rose by just under 3% – or 35c – to €12.35; ferry and freight services business, Irish Continental Group (ICG) gained 50c to €11.50 and leading bookmaker, Paddy Power rose by just over 3.5% – or 60c – to close at €17.60.

Two high-profile fallers, however, were seen in the form of CRH – which after strong gains on Tuesday, fell yesterday by 46c to €18.14 – and DCC, which was down by 52c at €14.20.

Tullow Oil rose just over 4% – or 42c – to reach €11.

There were also small gains for building materials group, Grafton and food group, Greencore – which issues full-year results early next week.

Another international food group – Aryzta (formed by IAWS Group’s takeover of Swiss bakery business, Hiestand) was up by 10c at €23, while C&C was up by 11c at €2.19.

The Newry-based specialist software firm, First Derivatives enjoyed a near 13% (38c) rise to €3.33, after a solid set of full-year results and an upbeat forecast for its current fiscal year.

Elsewhere across Europe, the DAX in Frankfurt was again the strongest performer – rising by 1.6% to just over 5,000 points.

There was a 0.9% gain in Paris on the CAC – which closed at just over 3,300, and the FTSE in London fell by 0.3%.

There were slight gains for both the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq. Japan’s Nikkei index of shares closed the day up by 54 points at 9,345.

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