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ISEQ flat this morning after rally

Friday, December 20 12:56:31

The ISEQ was trading flat this morning after a three-day rally as Ireland received some good news from S and P but after the ratings agency downgraded the EU.

By 12:45, the ISEQ was up 1.49 points to 4,464.66.

Global ratings agency, Standard and Poor's, this morning reaffirmed Ireland's debt rating and kept its "positive" outlook, adding that there is a one in three chance it could raise its rating in the next 18 months. It said it believes Ireland will continue to reduce its general government debt burden through budgetary consolidation and asset sales, as the domestic economy improves, allowing it to exit the EU/IMF program and maintain access to capital markets.

However, S and P cut its long-term rating of the European Union by one notch to AA+ today, saying it had concerns about how the bloc's budget was financed, a view EU leaders and other officials dismissed as misguided. "In our opinion, the overall creditworthiness of the now 28 European Union member states has declined," S and P said in a statement that came 11 months after it announced it had a 'negative' outlook on the bloc. "EU budgetary negotiations have become more contentious, signaling what we consider to be rising risks to the support of the EU from some member states." European officials said they were not surprised by the move since S and P recently downgraded the Netherlands and has lowered its view on six other member states - France, Italy, Spain, Malta, Slovenia and Cyprus - in the past year.

Shares in Ryanair rose 8c to E6.24 while Aer Lingus stocks climbed 2c to E1.28. The number of overseas trips to Ireland by non-residents increased from 2.1 million in Quarter 3 2012 to 2.26 million trips in Quarter 3 2013, latest figures from the CSO show. The number of nights spent in Ireland by overseas travellers increased by 8.7pc in Quarter 3 2013 compared with the same period of the previous year, up from 17.0 million to 18.5 million.