All eyes fixed on US debt ceiling stand-off
Ryanair gains as air travel tax scrapped in budget but Aer Lingus closes slightly down
On its final day of trading on the Iseq before moving to the FTSE, Grafton appeared to reap the rewards of the Government’s proposed financial package for home improvements, the building materials company closing up 1 per cent
Markets around the world had their eyes fixed on progress in US debt ceiling negotiations with a potentially catastrophic deadline looming ever closer.
Early talks between Democrat and Republican Senate leaders had fuelled hopes of a deal to reopen US federal agencies and prevent a default on federal debt, but that looked less likely last night.
European markets fared well but US stocks slipped and an auction of short-term treasury debt drew weak demand.
Trading saw some effects of Budget 2014, in particular Ryanair which bounced on foot of the scrapping of the air travel tax, up 1.2 per cent at €6.15. Aer Lingus, however, did not see a similar result, finishing down half a per cent at €1.41.
Grafton also appeared to reap the rewards of the Government’s proposed financial package for home improvements; the building materials company closed up 1 per cent, a positive end to its final day of trading in Dublin before relocating to the FTSE. Things were not so positive for Kingspan, however, closing down 0.3 per cent at €12.36.
Bank of Ireland concluded business with an increase of almost 4 per cent and Smurfit also finished strongly up 3.6 per cent. Paddy Power was slightly weak, closing down 0.4 per cent, on foot of a poor day’s trading in the sector.
UK stocks climbed for a fourth day, their longest winning streak since August with the FTSE 100 Index rising 41.46 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 6,549.11 at the close in London. The broader FTSE All-Share Index also climbed 0.6 per cent.
Of particular interest was Royal Mail, whose shares rose 3 per cent to 489 pence on its first day of unconditional trading. The former state monopoly rallied 48 per cent from the 330 pence at which the UK government offered the securities.
Burberry slid 7.6 per cent to 1,464 pence after saying chief executive Angela Ahrendts would join Apple of next year. Rio Tinto advanced 4.3 per cent to 3,215 pence after reporting third-quarter iron-ore production of 53.4 million metric tons as production expanded in Western Australia. Man Group jumped 6.4 per cent to 83.7 pence after UBS added the world’s biggest publicly traded hedge-fund manager to the list of its most-preferred financial shares.
Earlier positive speculation surrounding the US talks helped the blue-chip Euro Stoxx 50 index also climb 0.9 per cent to hit a fresh 2½-year high, while France’s CAC 40 rose 0.8 per cent to a five-year high and Germany’s DAX was up 0.9 per cent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.8 per cent to its highest level since September 19th. National benchmark indexes advanced in 17 of the 18 western European markets.
Casino Guichard-Perrachon jumped 3.5 per cent to €82.47, its highest price since May 28th. The owner of the Monoprix and Geant supermarket chains reported third quarter revenue of €11.8 billion , exceeding analysts’ projections of €11.7 billion.
Schindler slid 5.9 per cent to 125.10 Swiss francs, its biggest drop since February 2011. Operating profit fell 5.7 per cent to 682 million francs in the nine months through September from a year earlier. Kuehne and Nagel International declined 4.1 per cent to SwFr112.90. The world’s biggest sea-freight forwarder reported third-quarter profit that missed analysts’ estimates as volumes stagnated.
US stocks declined after a four day rally in the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index. By lunchtime, the S&P 500 fell 0.3 per cent in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4 per cent in early trade.
By midday, McDonald’s retreated 1.1 per cent and Home Depot sank 1.1 per cent for the biggest slides in the Dow. KB Home fell 3 per cent t and Lennar fell 2.7 per cent. Teradata Earnings sank 17 per cent to $43.73. – (Reuters)