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ISEQ flat as world markets await US news

Wednesday, December 04 12:53:49

The ISEQ hardly moved this morning as investors around the world awaited news as to whether the US Fed will wind down its bond-buying stimulus as soon as this month or next.

By 12:45, the index was up 1.20 points to 4,407.18.

The to-and-fro of when the Fed will begin to halt the flow of cheap dollars has dominated trading worldwide for months. A run of data ending in the main U.S. jobs indicator - non-farm payrolls - on Friday may yet tip the balance again. Polls of analysts and traders still point firmly to the U.S. central bank holding fire until next March but some stronger data has reheated speculation it could move earlier. That prompted investors to cash in gains from recent rallies, and despite a steadier start European stocks were on the slide again by midday after suffering their biggest tumble since August on Tuesday.

Bank of Ireland has announced a capital package in relation to the E1.837bn of the 10.25pc 2009 state-owned preference stock (Prefs). This package has been agreed with the state and the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) and will involve the placing of E580m of equity to redeem c.E537m of Prefs and pay expenses as well as the issuance to private investors of E1.3bn of notes secured via a SPV structure (Baggott Securities Limited) on E1.3bn of Prefs. The proceeds of the private notes issuance via the SPV will be used to fully redeem the state's interest in the Prefs and the underlying Prefs will be unaffected by the transaction. Shares were flat at E0.27.

With price rises for protein to the fore, the all products index at the latest GDT auction rose by 3.9pc on the previous auction result a fortnight ago. Casein (rennet) soared 18.9pc; MPC (milk protein concentrate) and SMP (skim milk powder) prices rose by 5.9pc and 5.6pc respectively. WMP (whole milk powder) rose by 3.4pc. Kerry Group's shares rose 35c to E47.40 while Glanbia fell 21c to E10.89.