Elan rises ISEQ closes up 28 points

The ISEQ index was 28 points higher at 5,357 today, helped by a near 8% rise in Elan shares after a broker upgrade.

The ISEQ index was 28 points higher at 5,357 today, helped by a near 8% rise in Elan shares after a broker upgrade.

Volume overall was lacklustre, with only a handful of busy stocks.

Eircom moved up 2c to €1.51 on healthy volume of 2.8 million shares traded. Fyffes was another active stock, closing up 2c to €1.62.

The banks closed down, with Bank of Ireland falling 11c to €10.34.

AIB shed 7c to €12.31 and Anglo dipped 3c to €13.12. Irish L&P closed unchanged at €13.60.

Elan was the star of the ISEQ show after an upgrade from international credit rating agency Moody's from "stable" to "positive", on the back of upbeat expectations for its new drug Antegren.

The share added €1.30 to stand at €18.30.

United Drug basked in the Elan limelight, closing up 4c to €2.56 and Paddy Power continued its recent ascent, closing up 10c to €9.25.

Adding to the upside Jurys Doyle was 27c to the good at €10.45 and Gresham recovered at €1.19, up 9c, recovering Friday's losses when its main shareholder, Israeli group Red Sea, rejected a bid offer for the group.

Waterford Wedgwood added 1c to €0.24 after announcing today that Paul D'Alton is set to replace Richard Barnes as chief financial officer from May 4.

Exploration firm Kenmare resources was down 1c to €0.28, after investors cashed in on results announced today which showed a small profit of $121,000 (€100,000m) for last year, mainly due to deposit interest income.

Meanwhile, in London, the FTSE 100 index closed 8.9 points higher at 4,546.2, with gains in the retailers overall as WH Smith surging ahead on takeover speculation.

Marks & Spencer was the biggest riser today, jumping nearly 5%, adding 13p to £2.77. Next rose 35p to £14.11 and WH Smith rallied £0.89, or 34.4%, to £3.49 after yesterday's £3.75-a-share cash offer by investment firm Permira.

Ahead of Tesco's full year results tomorrow the supermarket giant rose 8p to £2.60 as brokers looked ahead with some optimism.

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