Friday, June 22 12:49:10
The ISEQ drifted lower again this morning in synch with the rest of Europe as recent poor macroeconomic data raised fresh concerns about the pace of global economic recovery.
By 12:30, the index was down 24.46 points to 3,037.17.
The decision by the Federal Reserve not to expand its quantitative easing programme hit sentiment. A poor Chinese PMI survey added to the gloom in early trading, indicating that the manufacturing sector contracted for an eighth consecutive month, with the release of euro area PMI surveys indicating that the economy remains mired in recession.
CRH's investors remain focussed on the goings on in Washington DC and the wrangling surrounding budget spending on infrastructure. Reports suggest that a tentative agreement on a new highway bill has been reached. In a rare joint statement, the leaders of the transportation committees in both the Senate and House of Representatives last night suggested a further extension to SAFETEA-LU could be avoided. Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer and Republican Congressman John Mica 's statement confirmed that the conferees "have moved forward toward a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on a highway reauthorization bill". The statement goes on to say that both House and Senate conferees would work towards a goal of completing a package by next week. There is precious little detail besides with no confirmation on funding levels and the source of funds required to fill the hole in the Highway Trust Fund. Should a deal not be concluded before the end of next week, a further six-month extension is likely. CRH's stocks fell 34c to E13.82.
According to HM Revenue & Customs, on a seasonally adjusted basis, there were 73,000 UK housing transactions (with a value of £40,000 and over) in May. This was up 4pc year-on-year (yoy) and 2,000 higher than in April. For the quarter to end-May, transactions were 9pc higher than the same quarter last year. Kingspan's shares fell 2c to E6.48.
Davy Stockbrokers have speculated that, based on data from the latest PML update, Elan's Tysabri gross additions are accelerating. Data from the monthly PML update also provide a glimpse of gross patient addition rates, the broker said. "This can be inferred from using the overall PML rate and the number of PML cases to estimate the overall number of patients that have been dosed with Tysabri. Although we recognise that it is a fairly inaccurate measure, it can give a broad direction on growth. Gross patient addition rates grew for the third consecutive month in May; at 478/week, this is the highest since May 2011. This rate was as low as 195/week in November 2011. In the PML data itself, another 16 cases were reported in the month to June 6th, bringing the overall total to 258. The validity of the JCvirus link to PML remains robust: in 75 Tysabri-treated patients who developed PML and in whom serum samples were available 6-187 months prior to the onset of PML, all 75 patients had anti-JCV antibodies detected." Shares in Elan were flat at E11.12.