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ISEQ closes 1st week of 14 higher

Friday, January 03 17:29:44

The ISEQ closed the first week of the New Year on a high, heading closer to the 4,600 level.

The index rose 39.87 points to 4,594.72.

A global gauge of equities was little changed following a sharp loss on the first day of trading in the new year. Low volumes were expected in the United States as a snowstorm blanketed the country's North East, including financial hubs New York and Boston. A speech by outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will be the focus for any fresh details on the Fed's economic stimulus withdrawal plans.

The violent storms that hit the country just before and after Christmas will cost FBD between E4m and E5m in additional claims, the insurer said today. FBD's shares fell 35c to E17.55. The company has updated its November interim management statement to take account of both the cost of the storms which affected Ireland between 19 and 31 December 2013 and a stronger than anticipated investment performance. FBD's earlier guidance was calculated on the assumption that large claims revert to norm and that there would be no exceptional weather events during the remainder of the year.

Ireland experienced storm force and, in certain areas, hurricane force winds between 19 and 31 December 2013. It estimates that these storms will cost between E4 million and E5 million net of reinsurance, reducing both basic and operating earnings per share by between 10 cent and 13 cent.

On a more positive note, FBD's investment returns for the year as a whole were better than anticipated at the time of the preparation of the IMS due to a strong performance in the Group's equity book through to the end of the year.