Iseq outperforms as heavyweight stock CRH upgraded by Morgan Stanley


Iseq outperforms as heavyweight stock CRH upgraded by Morgan Stanley
  1. Iseq outperforms as heavyweight stock CRH upgraded by Morgan Stanley
    irishtimes.com
    FTSE 100 in London slips as mining companies weigh on…
    Business

The Iseq stock index in Dublin edged higher on Wednesday, outperforming a weak equities performance across Europe, as index heavyweight CRHbenefitted 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 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.

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