Friday, July 13 12:51:39
A 2.5pc rise in Elan's shares together with more evidence of Ireland's remarkable record in export growth helped lift the main Dublin shares index this morning.
By 12:30, the ISEQ was up 23.00 points to 3,179.00.
Shares in Irish drugs developer, Elan, rose 26c to E11.33. An analysis today by Davy Research said that the breadth of Phase III programme for Bapineuzumab - Elan's treatment for Alzheimer's Disease (AD) provides a wide range of efficacy and regulatory options. "The stratified nature of the Bapineuzumab trials and the battery of secondary endpoints, including biomarker analysis, ensure that a lack of data is unlikely to be an issue. In other words, the breadth of the Phase III programme provides the best chance of identifying even a modest efficacy signal. It also offers a great deal of flexibility to Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer as they build a pathway to potential regulatory approval," the report said. "The risk/reward for Elan overall remains very favourable at current levels, especially given the commercial opportunity that awaits the first set of disease-modifying treatments for AD and the underlying growth of Tysabri. We reiterate our 'outperform' rating," according to analyst, Jack Gorman.
Latest trade data also lifted the ISEQ. Preliminary figures for May indicate a seasonally adjusted increase in both exports and imports compared with April, latest CSO figures show. Seasonally adjusted exports increased by E518 million (or 7pc), and imports increased by E515 million (or 15pc). The seasonally adjusted Trade surplus remained static at E3,451 million in May 2012. Chemicals and related products accounted for E4,545 million (or 60pc) of the total exports of E7,618 million in May 2012. Comparing May 2012 with May 2011, exports of Medical and pharmaceutical products increased by E99 million (or 5pc) and Organic chemicals increased by E113 million (or 9pc).
Shares in paper and packaging giant, Smurfit Kappa, rose 5c to E5.25. The boiler leak at SKG's Facture plant in France is likely to result in 15-20 unscheduled closures and a loss of production of circa 30,000 tonnes. Mondi has announced a E40/tonne price increase for brown kraftliner grades, while the latest RISI data indicate that recycled containerboard prices declined by a further E25/tonne in Germany in July.
Elsewhere, Kerry Group stocks climbed 10c to E36.90, Aryzta was another gainer with a rise of 37c to E39.58 and DCC climbed 7c to E18.47.