Tuesday, September 24 17:38:09
The ISEQ index made some modest headway in afternoon trading today but with economic data and global central bank stimulus policy weigning on investors' minds.
The index rose 18.46 points to 4,273.12.
Frustration over a lack of clarity on U.S. fiscal and monetary policies continued to weigh on U.S. equities and commodity markets today, while major currencies held in tight ranges. A political showdown looms in Washington over budget talks that threaten to shut down the U.S. government on Oct. 1 if a deal cannot be reached. "Investors have a legitimate cause for near term concern," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago. In addition, investors have been trying to decipher a string of comments from Federal Reserve officials over the future of the U.S. central bank's stimulus program, adding to the caution gripping financial markets.
At home, shares in CRH gained 4c to E17.79. 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 33c to E48.20 while Origin stocks fell 2c to E6.50.