Wednesday, March 06 13:01:37
The ISEQ slipped this morning as investors took profits from and impressive week-long rally but the index remained at one of its highest levels since the current downturn began.
The index fell 25.04 points to 3,859.12.
Yesterday, EU finance ministers asked the Troika to prepare proposals for the best possible option to extend the term of Ireland's E40bn bailout loans. Today the focus is on the euro area's Q4 economic performance and the figures were not good. Falling business investment and consumers' reluctance to spend even at Christmas damaged the euro zone's economy in the last three months of last year, which policymakers hope signals the lowest point in the bloc's recession. Economic output from the 17 nations sharing the euro fell 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, EU statistics agency Eurostat said today, confirming its earlier reading, the biggest quarter-on-quarter fall in a year of contraction. As expected, the euro zone ended the year in its second recession since 2009, a reality already too well-known to millions of Europeans suffering from record unemployment and a debt crisis that nearly broke up the currency area last year.
Back home, shares in Origin Enterprises fell 15c to E4.85 as it reported group operating profits of E13.25m for the six months to the end of January, up 2.5pc on the same time last year. Pre-tax profits, before exceptionals, for the six month period rose to E7.317m from a pre-tax loss of E3.281m the same time last year. The company said that its agri-services revenue rose by 11.9pc to E567.7m from E507.4m despite the impact of low winter crop plantings in the UK due to a sustained period of unseasonably wet weather. Increased spring planting is now expected as a result.