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ISEQ pares losses in afternoon trade

Monday, March 31 17:44:34

The ISEQ clawed back morning losses in late trading today but stayed under the 5,000 level as unease set in over some surprisingly poor inflation figures from the eurozone.

The index was up 4.40 points to 4,995.39.

Euro zone inflation hit its lowest level since November 2009 in March, a shock drop that raises expectations the European Central Bank will take radical action to stop the threat of deflation in currency bloc. Justin Doyle, an economist with Investec in Dublin, says that the significant drop in the March inflation number to 0.5pc from February's 0.7pc "increases the chances of some action by the ECB at their monthly meeting on Thursday afternoon". Annual consumer inflation in the 18 countries sharing the euro was 0.5 percent in March, with the pace of price rises cooling from February's 0.7 percent reading, the EU's statistics office Eurostat said today.

Few stocks stood out but Aryzta rose 70c to E63.85 and FBD gained 80c to E18.50.

Among the fallers were Dalata, down 10c to E2.84, Kerry, down 100c to E55.41 and Smurfit Kappa down 15c to E17.60.