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ISEQ dips on weak economy data

Thursday, January 16 12:56:33

The ISEQ slipped in to the red this morning after reports showed low inflation figures through 2013 and a slump in Ireland's trade surplus in November.

By 12:45, the ISEQ was down 4.86 points to 4,812.56.

Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, remained flat in December and hardly moved all year, latest figures from the CSO show. Prices on average, as measured by the CPI, were 0.2pc higher in December compared with December 2012. The most notable changes in the year were increases in Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (+5.7pc), Education (+4.5pc) and Restaurants and Hotels (+2.8pc).

Ireland's seasonally adjusted trade surplus fell 15pc to its lowest level since 2008 in November as exports fell sharply while the level of imports rose, latest CSO figures show. Preliminary figures for November 2013 indicate a decrease in seasonally adjusted exports of E327 million (-5pc) to E7,009 million from October 2013. Seasonally adjusted imports increased by E132 million (+3pc) to E4,472 million resulting in a 15pc decrease in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to E2,538 million.

Irish drinks group, C and C, this morning reiterated its full year profit guidance, predicting double-digit growth to between E125m and E132m. In an update to the markets, it said 2014 represents a transition period for the C and C business in both its core and international markets. "We have made excellent progress developing our multi-beverage capability in ROI and Tennent's UK. Solid earnings growth and cash generation in both of these businesses provides a degree of balance to a more competitive UK cider market," it said. "C and C's IMS, which covers the period from September 1st to January 16th, is in-line and the regional commentary is along expected lines. It reports resilient Q3 trading in Irish and Scottish markets. The UK remains challenging. US distribution integration is on-going - VHCC volumes declined in Q3. The group is guiding FY2014 net debt/EBITDA of <1x (Davy: 0.8x) and reiterates FY2014 operating profit guidance range of E125- 132m (Davy E127.1m - similar to consensus)," said Davy. Shares in the group rose 11c to E4.45.