Markets across Europe continue to rise
European stocks advanced for a second day as euro zone finance ministers prepared to discuss Greece’s finances at a meeting in Brussels with hopes of a resolution. In the US, markets were flat on the back of an accounting revelation at HP.
In line with European markets, the Iseq rose by 19 points, or 0.59 per cent, to finish at 3,238.77. Index heavyweight CRH fell back by 3 cents, or 0.2 per cent, to close down at €13.90, but elsewhere most stocks finished the day in the black. The DCC group was up by 20 cents, or 0.9 per cent, advancing to €22.55.
Drinks group CC was also strong, adding 10 cents, or 2.4 per cent, to reach €3.91. Kingspan added 16 cents, or 2 per cent, to finish up at €7.76, while Paddy Power motored ahead, gaining €1.20, or 2.1 per cent, to climb to €57.
Smurfit Kappa continued its run, increasing by 23 cents, or 2.8 per cent, to close at €8.64. A strong set of results for EasyJet saw Ryanair advance by 11 cents, or 2.5 per cent, to finish up at €4.67.
Shareholders may have backed Glanbia’s move to enter into a dairy processing joint venture at the group’s extraordinary general meeting yesterday, but the stock was out of favour. Glanbia eased back, giving up 3 cents, or 0.3 per cent, to finish at €7.75.
UK stocks climbed, extending Monday’s biggest rally in more than five months, as shareholders approved the $31 billion takeover of Xstrata.
The FTSE 100 Index climbed 10.44 points, or 0.2 per cent.
Xstrata gained 3.1 per cent to 986.6 pence, for the biggest advance on the FTSE 100.
InterContinental climbed 2.7 per cent to 1,633 pence after Barclays upgraded the world’s largest provider of hotel rooms to overweight, the equivalent of a buy recommendation, citing the potential for asset sales.
EasyJet jumped by 6.1 per cent to 692 pence, the highest since November 2007, after the discount airline increased its annual dividend to 21.5 pence a share from 10.5 pence and reported a 28 per cent jump in full-year pre-tax profit to £317 million pounds.
Premier Foods rose 2.7 per cent to 94.75 pence after the owner of the Hovis bread and Bisto brands announced plans to close two bakery sites next year and cut 900 jobs to help drive profitable growth.
European markets climbed yesterday on the expectation that a Greek deal is imminent.
France’s CAC 40 added 0.6 per cent, Germany’s DAX gained 0.8 per cent and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced by 0.3 per cent.
Credit Suisse retreated 2 per cent to 21.12 Swiss francs in Zurich after saying it would reorganise its investment bank and merge asset management with the private bank to cut costs and reduce complexity.
Deutsche Bank fell 1.5 per cent to €33.16 and Intesa Sanpaolo declined by 1.1 per cent to €1.22.
Italian car maker Fiat fell 4.8 per cent to €3.32. UBS lowered its recommendation on Fiat to neutral from buy, saying it may need to raise between €1.6 billion and €2.9 billion to finance the purchase of the remaining shares in Chrysler Group.
Wall Street halted its two-day rally yesterday, after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank lacked tools to cushion the US economy from the impact of the fiscal cliff.
The day’s biggest disappointment was Hewlett-Packard, which sank to a 10-year low after a fourth-quarter loss and the announcement of a $5 billion charge related to “accounting improprieties” related to its acquisition of software firm Autonomy. The stock slid just under 12 per cent.
Best Buy fell 13 per cent after the consumer electronics retailer reported a net loss of $13 million for the third quarter on weaker-than-expected sales.
An index of housing-related shares shot up 2.5 per cent.
Advancers outnumbers decliners on the NYSE by about four to three. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg/ Reuters)