Global values finish week on a high

Sat, Apr 28, 2012, 01:00

WEAKER THAN expected US gross domestic product figures and a downgrade for Spain failed to stop world markets finishing the week on a high yesterday, with markets up across Europe and the US.

DUBLIN

In Dublin, the market was strong across the board, in line with trends across Europe and the US. As one broker noted, it continues to be driven by macro trends and the US earnings season.

Buoyed by an upgrade from JP Morgan, which raised it to overweight, the equivalent of buy, and positive sets of results from construction peers, CRH out-performed on the day.

The group added 45 cent, or 3.0 per cent, to finish the day up at €15.44.

Also strong on the day was Elan, which advanced by 12 cent, or 1.1 per cent, to climb to €10.67 on the back of soaring revenues from the sale of its multiple sclerosis drug, Tysabri.

Having won approval from its shareholders for a 13 million share placing yesterday, oil and gas exploration company Providence fell back yesterday. It gave up 6 cent, or 0.9 per cent, to close down at €6.92 on “decent volumes”.

Paddy Power extended its gains, adding 75 cent, or 1.6 per cent, to finish the day up at €48.80, as a Swedish peer gave a set of “really impressive results”, according to one broker.

On the airline front, both Aer Lingus and Ryanair were largely flat on the day, as Lufthansa mulled over plans to launch a new low-cost carrier.

Aer Lingus closed down 0.5 per cent at € 0.98, while Ryanair was off by 0.4 per cent on the day at €4.26.

FBD gave up 8 cent, or 0.89 per cent, to close down at €8.60, while Independent News Media was also weak on the day. It fell back by 4 cent, or 1.5 per cent, to finish the day down at €0.26.

LONDON

After a volatile start to the week, when political uncertainty in Europe triggered a rout, the FTSE 100 Index closed the week up 28.4 points at 5,777.11, meaning it has recouped all of the losses it suffered on Monday.

Banks shrugged off the downgrade to Spain and were among the biggest risers on the FTSE 100 Index.

Barclays was up by 5 per cent, or 10.1p, at 223.1p, despite a stormy annual meeting with shareholders upset about high levels of pay.

Royal Bank of Scotland rose by 0.8p at 24.4p, but Lloyds Banking Group was slightly lower, down 0.3p at 31.2p.

FT and Penguin owner Pearson and advertising giant WPP posted trading updates, but shares in both were little changed after they reinforced City forecasts.

Pearson rose 17p to 1167p after it said it expects full-year sales and operating profits to grow in line with forecasts.

WPP was 6p higher at 844p as it said first quarter profits and operating margins were above budget and ahead of last year.

Man Group, the world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund surged by 14 per cent to 106.8 p, snapping a two-day sell-off.

EUROPE

European stocks climbed for a fourth day yesterday, extending its longest stretch of gains in six weeks. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced by 0.7 per cent to 258.87, up by 0.4 per cent on the week, and 5.9 per cent year to date.

In Paris, the CAC 40 rose by just over 1 per cent, while in Frankfurt the DAX crested 0.9 per cent.

Vinci, Europe’s biggest builder, gained 4 per cent, and Sandvik, the world’s largest maker of metal-cutting tools, surged by 12 per cent.

French builder Eiffage SA climbed 5.3 per cent to €25.25 as construction shares rose, while Hochtief AG, Germany’s largest builder, gained 4.1 per cent to €44.44.

Nobel Biocare, the world’s second-biggest dental implant maker, rose by 4.5 per cent to 11.18 Swiss francs after it said first-quarter profit rose by 9.5 per cent on growth in North America, as Europe continued to falter along with the economy.

US

US markets were upbeat in line with Europe yesterday, as improving consumer confidence and earnings overshadowed lower-than-forecast economic growth.

The Commerce Department reported the US economy grew at a 2.2 per cent annual rate, below the 3 per cent pace at the end of last year and the 2.5 per cent median forecast of economists.

Amazon.composted earnings per share that quadrupled the average analyst estimate, joining about three quarters of SP 500 companies to exceed forecasts published so far in the reporting season.

It surged by 14 per cent, the most since 2009, while Starbucks fell by 6.3 per cent as the biggest coffee-shop chain reported same-store sales that trailed projections.

Procter and Gamble slid by 3.2 per cent as the largest consumer products company cut its profit estimate. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg/PA)