Europe rises on back of good news in US
Good news from the US prompted an across-the-board rise in European stocks yesterday. Washington reported unemployment had fallen to a five-year-low a day after the House of Representatives voted to suspend temporarily the federal government’s borrowing limit. Strong performances in leading stocks also helped.
Shares in Ryanair hit a five-year high on the back of strong results from its smaller rival, Easyjet. Ryanair rose over 3 per cent to close at €5.421. It is due to report results on Monday.
Index heavyweight CRH closed up 4.69 per cent at €15.86, helping to lift the overall market. CRH accounts for over 20 per cent of the Iseq index.
In exploration, Providence Resources, which announced it had identified structures that could potentially contain oil in its Rathlin Island licence, was up 2.6 per cent at €7.90.
Strong performances by leading London-listed stocks helped drive the overall growth in Europe’s Stoxx 600 index.
EasyJet rallied 5.1 per cent to 898.5 pence, the highest price since its initial public offering in November 2000. Revenue jumped 9.2 per cent to £833 million in the three months to December 31st, compared with £763 million a year earlier, the company said.
Vodafone jumped 3.2 per cent to 168.7 pence, its biggest gain in five months. Greenlight Capital Re wrote in a note that the mobile operator’s valuation implies its 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless had no value. The note described the holding as “clearly quite valuable.” Verizon’s market value climbed above Vodafone’s in December for the first time in a decade, according to Bloomberg.
Croda International climbed 3.4 per cent to 2,437 pence, its biggest advance in three months. JPMorgan Chase reiterated its overweight rating on the stock, the equivalent of a buy recommendation .
Polyus Gold International surged 9.7 per cent to 218.5 pence as billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Holdings agreed to sell his stake to a group of investors, according to sources.
Ladbrokes, which announced that it is buying Irish betting exchange Betdaq for €30 million rose 3.4 per cent to 206.1 pence.
ICAP slid 1 per cent to 324 pence after the world’s largest broker of transactions between banks said the Financial Services Authority had started to investigate one of its units as part of a probe into Libor rigging.
Markets around the Continent advanced yesterday, with 14 of 18 national indices gaining ground.
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena slumped 8.2 per cent to 23.3 cents. Italy’s central bank said it will review documents covering financial transactions that Monte Paschi hid from its regulators.
Logitech International plunged 9.6 per cent to 6.51 Swiss francs. The world’s biggest maker of computer mice put its remote-control and video-security businesses up for sale after posting the loss.
Opap tumbled 11 per cent to €6.26, its biggest drop in four months, after the European Court of Justice ruled that the company’s monopoly over gambling in Greece was illegal.
Labour department figures showed jobless claims fell 5,000 to 330,000 last week. However, by 7pm US stocks were in retreat as Apple shares tumbled 12 per cent to $453.06 on news that profit growth had slowed.
Netflix soared 38 per cent, the biggest intraday gain ever, to $142.11. The company signed 2.05 million new US internet subscribers in the fourth quarter, bringing total domestic online customers to 27.2 million, it said yesterday on its website.
Amazon.comjumped 1.7 per cent to $272.62. It announced today it was acquiring Ivona Software, a text-to-speech technology firm. EBay, operator of the world’s largest online marketplace, advanced 2.5 per cent to $54.76. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg)