Friday, March 22 12:33:45
The ISEQ fell for the second day in morning trading today in line with global markets as the ECB's ultimatum to Cyprus looms.
By 12:30, the index was down 12.33 points to 3,919.08.
World shares were heading for their worst week since November and gold was nearly at a one-month high on Friday as Cyprus scrambled to avoid a meltdown of its banks and exit from the euro that could upset the whole region.
The European Union has given Cyprus until Monday to raise 5.8 billion euros to secure a 10-billion euro international bailout. Parliament already rejected one deal.
A few signs of progress ahead of what was expected to be a difficult weekend of negotiations on the island helped European shares pare back early losses but uncertainty remained.
Yesterday, ARTBA (America Road Transportation Builders Association) held its Q1 review of the US transportation construction market and outlined its medium-term outlook. Overall, there was a cautious tone to the presentation with ARTBA leaving forecasts broadly unchanged. Shares in CRH fell 22c to E17.27.
Shares in insurance group, FBD, were down 14c to E12.21. Met Eireann has issued a weather warning stating flooding gales and blizzards are expected to hit the country over the coming days. It is expected widespread heavy rain may lead to spot flooding in parts of Leinster, Munster and Connacht while in the north and East of the country respectively, blizzards and gales are expected to cause disruption. There has already been some flooding reported in the south of the country due to torrential rain and high tides. Recent FY12 results show FBD delivered a combined operating ratio of 89pc, 2pc of which we attributed to adverse weather, compared to a 5 year trend of 7pc. Goodbody's forecast guidance on the combined ratio for FY13 is 91.6pc and incorporates a normal year of weather. "We retain the view it has been a relatively benign year to date, however, continued adverse weather events will keep this assumption in check for a few days, at least," the broker said.