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UK DIY News

Grafton Group one of few names to move ahead as debt crisis weighs on investor sentiment

THE IRISH market delivered a lacklustre performance yesterday, with trading levels anaemic as UK and US markets remained closed for national holidays.

After an initial uplift, the Iseq index drifted off as the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis weighed on investor sentiment.

On what was a fairly featureless day on the Irish market, Grafton Group was one of the few names to move ahead on stock-specific speculation. The builders merchant and DIY group found itself in favour after a press report said that Wolseley has begun the process of selling its UK trade builder’s merchant division, Build Center, as well as two smaller business units. Several Irish brokers yesterday predicted that Grafton is likely to be a potential bidder for Build Center, and the stock was lifted more than 1 per cent, or four cent, to finish at €3.50.

Drinks group C&C, which released a strong set of results earlier this month, was one of the strongest performers on the day, gaining more than 1.5 per cent or 5.5 cent to almost €3.63.

It was a mixed day for food stocks, however. Baking group Aryzta added 4.5 cent to €38.50, and convenience food group Greencore also firmed up fractionally to close just below €1.14. However, Kerry Group tumbled more than 1 per cent, or 35 cent, to €29.20. Food ingredients group Glanbia was also weaker on the day. It closed at €4.85, down about seven cent.

Low-fares airline Ryanair continued to gain traction despite announcing last week it will cut winter capacity. The stock added three cents yesterday, bringing its share price to just under €3.55.

Aer Lingus moved in the opposite direction, shedding a little more than a cent to finish at 81.5 cent.

In general, volumes were very thin without the UK and US markets to add impetus.

Source : Caroline Madden - Irish Times
www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2011/0531/1224298145493.html

02 June 2011
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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

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Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.
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