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ISEQ rises as economy looks brighter

Wednesday, January 29 12:37:59

The ISEQ rose for the second day this morning after the Central Bank predicted a 2.1pc rise in GDP for Ireland this year and a steady fall in unemployment.

By 12:30, the ISEQ was up 18.23 points to 4,739.70.

The Central Bank this morning published its latest Quarterly Review, which forecast a GAP growth rate of 2.1pc for this year but warned that State and private debt remains a major drag on the recovery. It forecast that consumer spending will rise by 1pc this year after falling significantly over the past number of years while export levels will grow by 3.5pc after last year's weak 0.3pc growth. Inflation will remain low at just 0.4pc, it forecast. The unemployment rate will fall to 11.9pc compared to 2013's 13.2pc and the 2012 jobless rate of 14.6pc. The review said that further progress in terms of policy implementation across a range of areas is required before Ireland can be considered to have recovered from the crisis fully with the need for further fiscal consolidation, restoring banking soundness and sustaining the rebound in employment growth through improvements in competitiveness essential, it said.

Smurfit Kappa peer, SCA has reported Q4 revenue of SEK22.4bn, missing consensus SEK23.3bn by 4pc. EPS of SEK2.6 came in 2.5pc short of consensus SEK 2.66. However, the key takeaway is that kraftliner volumes were flat yoy in Q413, compared to -2pc in Q313 and -5pc for FY13. This is encouraging given the weakness in kraftliner prices (down E50-60/tonne in H213). Shares in Smurfit Kappa fell 7c to E18.14.