Caution Abounds Ahead of Crunch EU Summit

Article excerpt

THE Iseq made some modest gains yesterday but investors remained cautious ahead of Friday's crunch EU summit aimed at generating a comprehensive deal to resolve the Eurozone debt crisis.

European stocks fell sharply after a German government official dented hopes of a bold move to end the debt crisis. The senior official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, said Berlin was increasingly pessimistic about the chances of a deal, accusing some EU governments of failing to grasp the gravity of the situation. The euro fell around half a cent to $1.3377 in response.

Smurfit Kappa peer DS Smith reported halfyear results to end-October. The company reported EPS of 11.4p, slightly ahead of the 11.1p consensus. Corrugated volumes increased by 3pc in the period, while prices were also higher to offset raw-material costs.

This resulted in like-for-like revenues in the period up 11pc year-on-year, reflecting the higher volumes and better pricing.

Profits from its UK packaging division increased by 25pc, while underlying profitability from its continental European operations were 23pc higher in the period.

Smurfit Kappa shares fell 1c to [euro]4.75. In his Budget statement yesterday, Finance Minister Michael Noonan confirmed plans to introduce a 1pc turnover tax on online betting, yet Paddy Power shares rose 158c to [euro]42.31.

Price Var High Low Price Var High Low Price Var High Low Abbey 5.20 +0.05 5.38 4.80 Aer Lingus 0.72 +0.01 1.15 0.57 AGI Therapeutics 0.06 - 0.07 0.03 Alld Irish Banks 0. …