Irish stocks buoyed by global market recovery

A number of Irish stocks felt the benefit as global markets rallied yesterday and investors weighed back in on the back of easing tensions between the US and North Korea.

Dublin’s Iseq index gained 1.4% yesterday, closing 92 points higher than its Friday close, at 6,673. This was driven by solid gains from the likes of paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa, financial services company IFG, and drinks group C&C.

Building materials giant CRH saw a 1.61% gain, while Ryanair rose 2.3% and specialist building materials company Kingspan which is set to publish interim results later this week jumped over 2.8%.

Shares in gambling group Paddy Power-Betfair rose by 2.34%, while exploration company Providence Resources saw an 11.1% boost.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended yesterday’s session 1.1% higher, its best day in one month, while the blue-chip-focused Stoxx 50 index jumped 1.3%. Tensions between the US and North Korea sent them 2.7% lower last week, their worst weekly loss this year.

Banking stocks were the worst hit last week but yesterday were among the top sectors, up 1.5%, with Banco de Sabadell, Deutsche Bank, and Commerzbank all up 3.1% to 3.6%.

“Financials are a high beta sector so whenever there’s a market selloff they do worse. You get these reversals afterwards: the pick-up in volatility is reversing and cyclicals are gaining. We’re seeing a return to fundamentals, which we think are quite good,” said Caroline Simmons, deputy head of the UK investment office at UBS Wealth Management.

Gains among financials and miners helped lift London’s FTSE 100 from a three-month low. The UK’s blue chip index was up 0.6%, recovering slightly after posting its worst week since April on Friday. Sterling, however, was little changed, inching down against the dollar amid continued Brexit confusion.

“The [British] government is expected to publish Brexit position papers over the coming months, with a possible first release this week. Given that the discussion of every aspect of Brexit has brought about rifts and contention both in the public and in government, there is little reason to believe that additional clarity will help support the pound or drive greater confidence in negotiations,” said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at online trader IG.

n Additional reporting Reuters


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