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ISEQ turns negative on profit taking

Thursday, March 27 17:39:02

Three days of sustained gains led to a bout of profit taking this afternoon, sending the index back in to the red.

By the close, the ISEQ was down 16.16 points to 4,968.35.

New US economic data helped buoy investor confidence. U.S. economic growth was a bit faster than previously estimated in the fourth quarter, displaying underlying strength that could bolster views that the slowdown in activity early in the year would be temporary. Also, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week and touched its lowest level in nearly four months, suggesting the labour market was strengthening.

IFG shares were flat at E1.75. "IFG's 2013 results are broadly in line with our expectations and reflect its on-going investment spend to position James Hay for growth. Having delivered net SIPP growth in 2013, the group is at a key juncture as it plans to expand the business from being a solely-focused SIPP provider to being a platform with a broader capability in retirement investment. This will leave it better placed to benefit from the strong market growth expected in the aftermath of the recent budget. We will review our forecasts after this morning's briefing," said Davy.

The day's biggest fallers were Smurfit Kappa down 53c to E18.65 and Ryanair down 10c to E7.59.

The top gainers were Aer Lingus up 4c to E1.67 and FBD up 25c to E17.95.