Friday, March 08 12:45:48
The ISEQ continued to make progress this morning, albeit modest, as world shares rallied to their highest since 2008.
By 12:30, the index was up 7.07 points to 3,835.35.
World shares hit their highest level since June 2008 and the dollar touched a fresh 3-1/2-year high against the yen on Friday, ahead of U.S. jobs data expected to point to a continuing pick up in the world's biggest economy. China also gave markets a boost as official data showed February exports grew 21.8 percent versus a year ago, more than double the expected rise. European shares, which have rebounded strongly after last week's Italian election and U.S. spending cuts-related wobble, were up 0.5 percent by mid-morning and on track for their biggest weekly gain since the start of the year. Japan's Nikkei hit a 4-1/2 year high in Asian trading and 0.3, 0.7 and 0.5 rises by London's FTSE 100, Paris's CAC-40 and Frankfurt's DAX helped MSCI's world share index to its highest level since late June 2008.
The main lead indicators of US highway construction activity, Federal Obligations and State Contract Awards, have been improving in recent months. This points to an improvement in highway construction activity in the US. This is a positive development, particularly for CRH where this end market accounts for close to 20pc of group profits. CRH stocks rose 7c to E17.05.