Friday, March 07 13:06:17
The ISEQ slipped in to the red again this morning after yesterday's modest rebound as investors await important jobs data from the US and after yesterday's ECB policy meeting.
By 13:00, the index was down 17.82 points to 5,126.02.
World shares were at a six-year high and heading for a fifth week of back-to-back gains as the ongoing tug-of-war over Crimea and uncertainty ahead of U.S. jobs data did little to sap market confidence. With the tussle between Ukraine and the West and Russia over Crimea expected to drag on, investors turned their focus to non-farm payrolls due later, though there was a sense they would still be distorted by the recent icy U.S. weather.
At home, shares in CRH fell 18c to E20.89. Italcementi has reported that FY 2013 recurring EBITDA fell 1.9pc year-on-year (yoy) to E631m, slightly ahead of our estimate of E627m. FY sales were down 5.4pc yoy at E4.235bn as cement volumes across the group declined by 6pc. The drop in volumes was not surprisingly driven by declines in Italy (-19.9pc) and Egypt (-17.6pc). More positive were increases in demand in Thailand (+5.5pc), India (+1.6pc) and North America (+1.5pc). Q4 EBITDA rose strongly, up 17.4pc yoy, driven by restructuring (total E140m) and improved sales prices.
The FAO food price index, based on international prices of a basket of five key food commodities, recorded its biggest month-on-month rise since mid-2012 in February. The increase over January was 2.6pc. Other than meat, which was flat, the other four commodities included in the index rose. Month-on-month increases of 2.9pc, 3.6pc, 4.9pc and 6.2pc were recorded for dairy, cereals, vegetable oils and sugar respectively. Kerry Group's shares dell 1c to E56.99.