European shares end week higher
US stocks down sharply after investors weigh consumer confidence data
Ryanair shares, which are still under pressure according to one Dublin analyst, fell 1.4 per cent to €6.64. The company announced yesterday evening it had initiated defamation proceedings against Channel 4/Blakeway Productions in the wake of a television documentary that questioned its stance on safety. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire
European shares advanced for a third straight week as data showing the euro area emerged from the longest recession on record outweighed speculation the Federal Reserve will trim monetary stimulus.
US stocks retreated as a slump in Treasuries sent 10-year yields to the highest level in more than two years.
Volumes were light across the board in Dublin yesterday, with the Iseq closing 16 points (0.4 per cent) lower at 4,180.
Ryanair shares, which are still under pressure according to one Dublin analyst, fell 1.4 per cent to €6.64. The company announced yesterday evening it had initiated defamation proceedings against Channel 4/Blakeway Productions in the wake of a television documentary that questioned its stance on safety.
Building materials company Kingspan, which reports half-year results this Monday, closed down nearly 1 per cent at €10.88.
Independent News & Media fell 8.06 per cent on light volumes.
UK stocks advanced, paring a second straight week of declines for the FTSE 100 Index, as a rally in shares of precious-metals producers and homebuilders outweighed a drop in travel and leisure companies.
Fresnillo and Randgold Resources gained more than 4 per cent as gold and silver climbed. A gauge of miners in the FTSE 350 Index advanced 1.5 per cent.
Glencore Xstrata added 2.2 per cent and Anglo American climbed 3.5 per cent.
Persimmon, the UK’s largest homebuilder by market value, jumped 8.3 per cent, snapping five days of declines.
Royal Bank of Scotland recovered after falling initially on the FTSE 100 as Investec cut the cut stock to sell, even though it admitted the bank was still on course for a sustainable recovery.
The benchmark FTSE 100 gained 16.65 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 6,499.99 at the close in London.
European stocks gained, after the Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped the most in more than five weeks yesterday, as a gauge of mining companies climbed, outweighing losses by airlines.
German airline Lufthansa dropped 1.3 per cent, weighed down in addition by Morgan Stanley downgrading the stock to “equal-weight” from “overweight”.
Italian banks led gains as Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Unione di Banche Italiane rallied at least 12 per cent.
GAM Holding jumped 15 per cent, the most in almost four years, as the asset manager said first-half profit more than tripled.
Cement firm Italcementi shed 4.4 per cent amid concerns it may be affected by continued unrest in Egypt: it owns the country’s biggest cement maker by market value.
The STOXX Europe 600 index rose 0.3 percent to 306.36 points and the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index – which hit a two-year high this week at 2,855.89 points – was up 0.7 per cent at 2,854.27 points.
France’s CAC 40 climbed 1.2 per cent and Germany’s DAX increased 0.6 per cent.
US stocks fluctuated in early trading, with the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index on track for its biggest weekly drop since June, as investors weighed data showing housing starts climbed in July while a gauge of consumer confidence fell.
Nordstrom dropped 3.4 per cent as the retailer cut its annual sales forecast. Alcoa slid 1.4 per cent after Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit downgraded the stock. PulteGroup and Lennar jumped more than 2.7 per cent as an index of housing stocks rallied. Pandora Media added 6.5 per cent after Goldman Sachs. raised its rating on the stock .
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes were on track for the largest weekly declines since late June. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters)