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ISEQ falls as markets hit by weak data

Tuesday, April 15 17:36:25

The ISEQ fell further today as global markets were hit hard by weak economic data and a mixed bag of corporate results.

By the close, the ISEQ was down 48.620points to 4,847.49.

Global equity markets declined and government debt rose as tensions spiked in Ukraine as Russia declared the country on the brink of civil war and as disappointing corporate results dogged U.S. and European stock markets. The New York Federal Reserve said its Empire State general business conditions index fell to a five-month low of 1.29 in April from a reading of 5.61 the month before, pulled down by a plunge in new orders.

At home, shares in C and C fell 2c to E4.49. SABMiller issued a trading update for the 12 months to the end of March this morning. Organic group net producer revenue (NPR) grew 3pc for the full year (2pc for Q4). In Europe, group NPR was flat yoy, while total volumes were down 1pc. The poor growth was attributed to poor weather in H1 and continuing economic uncertainty and weak consumer sentiment across the region. "While direct read-through for C and C is limited, both set of results illustrate the difficult backdrop for the drinks industry in Europe currently. That being said, following its third quarter of positive growth, Punch Taverns results indicate at least a stabilisation in the UK pub trade. C and C is due to report FY14 results on May 15th," said Goodbody Stockbrokers.

Yesterday, the Construction Products Association (CPA) in the UK issued its Spring forecasts, in which 2014 forecasts were upgraded from 3.4pc to 4.5pc (+1pc in 2013). This continues the upgrade cycle (12 months ago 2014 forecasts were for 1.9pc growth). While previous revisions were driven by new residential, this latest upgrade is more to do with the late cycle segments of non-residential and rmi. Construction activity is expected to grow by 4.8pc in 2015 and 4.3pc in 2016, both of which are down slightly on previous estimates (-44bps and -17bps) as the growth in non-residential / rmi segments gets pulled forward into 2014. "These latest estimates from the CPA give us a lot of comfort in our company forecasts with the biggest exposures to the UK being: Travis Perkins 100pc; Howden 98pc; Grafton 75pc; SIG 43pc; Kingspan 33pc; and Wolseley 13pc," said Goodbody's.