News

Irish bond yields hit an all-time low

The ISEQ index of Irish shares closed down 16.16 points at 4,968.35, mirroring declines elsewhere.

In the bond market, the yield on Irish government bonds hit an all-time low yesterday, slipping down to just 2.98pc to borrow for 10 years.

Yields have been dropping as the volume of bonds traded picked up in recent days.

In Dublin, the most actively traded names were Smurfit Kappa, which closed down 2.76pc at €18.655 per share, and Kerry Group, which ended the session up slightly to €55.34.

Newcomer Dalata Hotel group was actively traded, with 4.6 million shares changing hands and the stock closing up 3.16pc to €2.94 a share.

Bank of Ireland’s recent slide continued yesterday, with the stock losing a further 0.34pc and falling to 28.80 cent.

On the London markets, the FTSE index fell, led by miners on concerns that earnings could be hurt by weaker metals prices following an economic slowdown in China and a rise in supplies.

The FTSE closed down 0.3pc on the day at 6,588.32 points and is down 3.3pc this month.

In the UK, banks were weaker after the US Federal Reserve blocked the US units of RBS and HSBC from paying higher dividends or buying back their own shares, citing weaknesses in their capital planning.

MINERS

Shares in defence and engineering services group Babcock International fell 6.7pc after it said it had agreed to acquire helicopter transport services firm Avincis, funding the deal with a £1.1bn (€1.32bn) rights issue.

Of the 106 SMEs that were surveyed in this Outlook Report, three-quarters have employ less than 50 employees while 8pc employed in excess of 250 people.

As a sector, miners suffered the biggest decline, however. Precious metals miner Fresnillo fell 4pc, Randgold Resources fell 2.6pc and Rio Tinto slipped 0.9pc.

“The outlook for commodity prices has changed quite substantially as the supercycle that we saw in China is coming to an end,” said Henk Potts, strategist at Barclays Wealth. (Additional reporting, Reuters)

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