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Cairn Homes leads Iseq 20 on house price hopes

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Cairn Homes and C&C led Irish large-caps higher, as the wider Iseq overall index stood out as a bright spot in Europe as traders returned to their desks for the first session of the new year.

The Iseq overall index added 0.2 per cent to 7,054.55, recovering most of the ground lost on Friday, while the FTSE 100 and pan-European Stoxx 600 index lost ground.

DUBLIN
Cairn Homes rose 3.2 per cent to €1.95 on the back of upbeat house price reports from MyHome.ie and Daft.ie, with the latter predicting that values in urban areas are within a “year or two of reaching their 2007 peak”.

Beer and cider maker C&C gained almost 3 per cent to €2.935, clawing back some of the ground lost last year when it lost 26 per cent of its value and ranked as the worst-performer on the Iseq 20.

Kingspan advanced 1.5 per cent to €36.95, gleaning support from Davy’s move to include the insulation group on its so-called “conviction list” of stocks offering the most upside potential.

Banks were mixed, with Bank of Ireland adding 1.4 per cent and Permanent TSB rising 1.3 per cent, while AIB lost 0.7 per cent.

LONDON
Britain’s top share index fell back from a record high on Tuesday, with dollar-earning exporters hit hardest as sterling rose.

Britain’s FTSE index ended the session 0.5 per cent lower at 7,648.10 points, slightly underperforming European peers on the first trading day of the year after a record-setting 2017.

Energy group BP was down 1 per cent after it said plans to take a one-off non-cash charge of about $1.5 billion on fourth-quarter results as a result of recent US tax reforms.

Consumer staples took the most points off the FTSE, as shares in British American Tobacco, Diageo and Unilever, declined. They all source a significant portion of revenues from overseas.

Volumes were also muted following the end of the holiday season, while the forthcoming launch of a major reform of European Union financial markets on Wednesday also kept trading cautious.

Though miners weighed earlier in the session, they reversed losses with Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Glencore all ending the session with gains of between 1.1 per cent and 2.9 per cent.

EUROPE
The pan-European STOXX 600 index dipped 0.2 per cent, with auto stocks dented by weaker car registrations data.

New car sales in France fell 0.5 per cent in December, while traders also pointed to a report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph citing forecasts that UK car registrations data, due out on Friday, would show a 5 per cent decline in new car sales.

BMW and Volkswagen were both around 0.5 per cent lower, recovering early losses slightly.

Lufthansa slipped 1.4 per cent after Aer Lingus and British Airways owner IAG agreed to buy Air Berlin’s insolvent Austrian airline Niki.

The German carrier had backed out of a deal to buy Niki’s assets in mid-December due to competition concerns.

NEW YORK
The picture was decidedly more upbeat on Wall Street as technology and consumer discretionary stocks pushed market indices higher, setting the stage for another year of robust gains for equities.

As of early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3 per cent, while the S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent, and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.3 per cent.

Major stock indexes closed out 2017 with their best performances since 2013 and are expected to gain this year too, largely helped by a cut in corporate taxes that is anticipated to boost profits and the economy.

Gains in Apple, Facebook, Alphabet and Microsoft pulled technology stocks higher.

Walt Disney and Netflix also marched higher on the back of positive broker recommendations from analysts at Macquarie.

Other media stocks such as Discovery Communications , Twenty-First Century Fox and Comcast also moved higher.

-Additional reporting, Reuters

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