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ISEQ closes a tad lower on profit taking

Tuesday, February 18 17:40:19

The three-day rally on the ISEQ ended today as investors pocketed gains, though the decline in the index was small.

The ISEQ fell 8.52 points to 4,959.53.

Europe's top shares inched lower, weighed down by retailers, as analysts bet the rally that followed the emerging-market slump has now run out of steam. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 was down 0.2 percent at 3,112.81 points, consolidating further after a slight drop in the previous session. The losses followed a rally of near 6 percent from early February's lows.

Hibernia REIT dipped 1c to E1.09. Its first investment since raising E385m (gross) represents a big vote of confidence in the Dublin housing market, according to Davy. The initial yield on the transaction, sub-3pc, is unappealing. However, the group is taking on the completion of over 200 residential units in Dublin, which should be a relatively low-risk project given improving residential market dynamics. With over 70pc of its cash still available, one should not read too much into Hibernia REIT's initial investment. "That said, it positions the group as another player in a newly emerging residential market category, that of the institutional owner," the broker said.

Exploration company Dragon Oil has reported an operating profit of $687.7 million for 2013; down 13pc on the previous year. The Irish-listed company, which has its main production site in the Caspian Sea - also saw a 9pc drop in revenue last year to $1.05 billion. The firm said it had completed ten wells during the year and had added new machinery to its primary site. It said it expected to complete between 14 and 16 wells this year and a further 20 in 2015 as part of its goal of producing 100,000 barrels per day by next year. Dragon's shares rose 6c to E7.50.