Tuesday, September 24 12:51:21
The ISEQ index managed only meagre gains after yesterday's flat trading amid weak German data and concerns about U.S. fiscal and monetary policy.
By 12:45, the index was up 4.64 points to 4,259.30.
With the domestic economy recovering slowly, the United States remains a key market for European companies, making their shares vulnerable to any jitters there. Expectations of reduced stimulus in the United States - which abated when the Federal Reserve left policy unchanged at last week's meeting - were reignited by New York Fed President William Dudley. The influential official said the U.S. central bank still aims to scale back the pace of its asset purchases later this year as long as the economy keeps improving. Continued political discord over the U.S. budget also kept markets on edge, raising the prospect of a federal government shutdown if a deal is not struck by month-end.
At home, shares in CRH gained 1c to E17.76. The value of US highway contracts awarded by state DOTs rose 2.1pc year-on-year in August, according to figures released by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). Total contracts awarded year-to-date are now up 3.7pc. Bridge contracts rose steeply in August (+46pc) and the two segments combined are now up 13pc year-to-date. "This reads well for CRH, the largest producer of asphalt for highway construction in the US," said Davy Stockbrokers.
ARYZTA will report full-year results on September 30th. Its 68.8pc subsidiary and separately listed company, Origin Enterprises, meanwhile will report full-year results on September 25th. Origin accounts for 15pc of group EBITA. Davy's ARYZTA group forecasts call for 6pc growth in adjusted EPS to 357.6c. Shares in Aryzta fell 28c to E48.25 while Origin stocks gained 3c to E6.55.