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ISEQ flat as markets await Wall St open

Wednesday, October 31 12:48:32

The ISEQ rose marginally but investors around the globe are awaiting the reopening of Wall St after the deviating storm that kept the world's financial hub closed since the weekend.

By 12:30, the ISEQ was up 3.49 points to 3,259.98.

Mixed corporate earnings capped gains on Europe's top share index by midday today as investors awaited the reopening of markets on Wall Street. The FTSEurofirst 300 rose 2.87 points, or 0.3 percent to 1,105.92. Among major blue-chip firms posting results, European airlines Air France-KLM and Lufthansa each gained more than 7 percent in brisk volumes after the two companies posted results and outlooks which reassured investors.

Today European markets will focus on euro-zone CPI (October) and unemployment (September). CPI is expected to fall back to 2.5pc from 2.6pc as energy price pressures wane, but food prices may well have pushed up on the index in October. The unemployment rate is likely to have ticked up to 11.5pc from 11.4pc, with the outlook poor for the coming months given weak German labour market data yesterday.

Shares in C and C fell 4c to E3.70. In its Q3 results today, ABInbev said its Stella Cidre performaed strongly during the summer, with sales up by almost 80pc in the period helped by its new pear variant. In its main beer businesses ,global, growth was more mundane with organic volumes down 0.3pc mainly driven by a poor performance in eastern Europe. "The performance of ABInbev's cidre over the past year has clearly been at the expense of other players, as evidenced by C&C's Magners lfl volumes which fell 17.4pc in its H1 results to end August. It remains to be seen whether the level of promotion of the Cidre brand continues with the same intensity in the coming quarters when C&C is anticipating more stable volumes from its brand," said Goodbody's Liam Igoe.

Shares in Kerry Group declined 51c to E40.95. Chr. Hansen, the Scandanavian ingredients company, said this morning that it secured underlying revenue growth of 11pc in its FY12 results to end August. EBIT margins increased from 25.0pc to 26.5pc. For the coming year, Hansen is anticipating further organic revenue growth of 8-10pc, while margins are also expected to improve further. "The overlap with Kerry Ingredients businesses is small, relating to Kerry functional ingredients. Nevertheless, to an extent, Kerry is set to mirror these trends with improving lfl sales and margins benefiting from the 1Kerry and Kerryconnect programmes. Kerry is due to release its Q3 IMS today at 12.30 pm in which we anticipate lfl growth of 2.7pc and a reiteration of FY12 eps growth guidance of 8-12pc," said Goodbodys analyst, Liam Igoe.

Shares in CRH climbed 23c to E14.33 and Aryzta gained 59c to E38.29.