Stock markets treaded water yesterday. European markets dipped slightly, in the main, despite positive data on Chinese exports, while in the US the markets had a positive, if unspectacularly day.
The Iseq in Dublin mirrored the mood across Europe, and traders said volumes were pallid.
The Iseq benchmarch index finished the day down 0.04 per cent, at 4,223.77, on a day when there was little by way of stock specific news.
Bank of Ireland has been on the road selling its wares over recent weeks and traders said the effect on investors continues to be evident. It closed the day up 1.73 per cent, at €0.23.
Likewise the chief executive designate of CRH, Albert Manifold, has been meeting investors and traders say this is having a positive effect on the share, which closed at €17.2, a rise of 1.5 per cent.
The slow recovery of Ryanair from the fall suffered in the wake of its recent profit warning continued, albeit slowly and at very low volumes. The share closed at €6.09, a rise of 0.19 per cent.
One of the more popular shares of the day in Dublin was Paddy Power, which saw approximately 250,000 shares change hands, a good number for the stock. It closed at €61.4, a rise of 1.25 per cent.
British stocks declined, after the benchmark FTSE 100 Index posted its first weekly gain in a month, as a drop in BG Group outweighed a report that showed Chinese exports rose more than estimated.
The FTSE 100 Index slid 16.59 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 6,530.74 at the close in London.
BG tumbled the most in 10 months, contributing the most to the decline in the FTSE 100, after lowering its forecast on 2014 production.
The UK‘s third-biggest oil and gas producer said next year‘s production will be reduced by 30,000 barrels a day because of unrest in Egypt, a project delay in Norway and lower natural-gas prices in the US. BG kept its predictions for 2013 production and reiterated that output will climb to as much as 825,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2015. It slid 5.1 per cent to 1,217 pence.
Tate & Lyle declined 3.4 per cent to 779.5 pence as UBS downgraded the shares to sell, from neutral, saying the stock is too expensive and does not sufficiently reflect the risks of a decrease in sucralose prices.
The company sells sucralose under the Splenda sweetener brand.
European shares dipped, led lower by oil stocks which tracked falling crude prices as expectations of an imminent U.S.-led strike on Syria faded.
Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Repsol fell 0.6 to 1.3 percent each, while Brent crude was down $ 2 a barrel to just above $ 114 after US secretary of state John Kerry said Syria could avoid a strike by turning over chemical weapons within a week.
Germany‘s DAX ended flat, with K+S jumping 8.2 per cent on speculation that potash prices won‘t drop as much as expected following the breakup of the world‘s largest producer cartel.
France‘s CAC 40 lost 0.2 per cent.
US stocks rose, sending the S& P’s 500 Index higher for a fifth straight day. The S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent to 1,667.03 at 12:33 pm in New York, poised for the highest closing level since August 14th.
Apple added 1.9 per cent to $ 507.61. The company will unveil a less expensive version of the iPhone and an upgrade of the iPhone 5 today, people with knowledge of the matter have said. The device is the country‘s top-selling smartphone.
Delta advanced 6.9 per cent, the most since April, to $ 21.27. The airline will join the S&P 500 after the close of trading today, making Atlanta-based Delta the second carrier in the index after Southwest Airlines.
Molex soared 31 per cent to $ 38.56 for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters)