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ISEQ eases out of the red this morning

Wednesday, May 21 13:11:57

The ISEQ climbed out of the red this morning after two days of losses with permanent tsb making the headlines and as Europe's markets edged higher.

By 1pm, the index was up 21.58 points to 4,788.62.

European stocks eked out meagre gains on Wednesday, while sterling hit a 5 1/2-year high on forecast-beating economic data and signs some Bank of England policymakers were leaning towards an interest rate rise.

PTSB has released an IMS this morning (to end April) showing ongoing progress at the bank. PTSB highlights that the net interest margin improvement is continuing at a similar pace seen during 2013, though within that, the core PTSB business is recording better growth, helped by growth in retail deposits and a reduction in funds. However, PTSB flags that lower interest rates (possibly next month) will reduce the pace of NIM recovery. Operating expenses will be helped this year by the non-recurrence of some one-off items. Elsewhere, monetary authority drawings are E0.9bn lower from December at E6bn and the group loan to deposit ratio is 124pc (some deposit growth, reductions in AFS and loan deleveraging). Shares in the bank rose fractionally to E0.08.

Shares in CRH rose 14c to E19.95. The latest US Architectural Billings Index (a 9-12 month leading indicator for the non-residential sector) has come in at 49.6 in April. This is up slightly from 48.8 in March and just shy of the critical 50 level. "While the ABI is still below the critical 50 level, the forward indicators are more positive, as is the rhetoric from the AIA economist. In terms of exposure to the non-residential sector, over 40pc of Wolseley's US business is to this segment versus 30pc for CRH," said Goodbody Stockbrokers.