European stocks up for second day
Stocks across Europe advanced for a second day, erasing an earlier drop, as companies from Heineken to PSA Peugeot Citröen reported better-than-estimated results and euro zone industrial output rose more than forecast.
In Dublin, the Iseq closed up 1.53 per cent at 3,681.95 as most of the big industrial stocks on the exchange posted increases on the day.
A positive note from Goldman Sachs on the construction sector benefited CRH, which closed the day up 4.3 per cent at €16.455.
In addition, Davy reiterated its outperform recommendation on CRH, citing an improvement in the outlook for US materials and reconstruction efforts from Hurricane Sandy. CRH generates about 45 per cent of revenue in the Americas.
Cavan-based building materials group Kingspan rose by 2.9 per cent to €8.999.
Tullow Oil surged the most in 17 months after the oil and gas company announced better-than-estimated drilling results at a well in Kenya.
Aer Lingus was down 0.6 per cent to €1.272 in the wake of Ryanair’s announcement that the European Commission is to block its latest bid for its Irish rival.
UK stocks climbed for a fourth day, sending the FTSE 100 Index to the highest level in more than 4½ years, as companies from Tullow Oil to Reckitt Benckiser Group rallied after reporting earnings.
Reckitt Benckiser rose to its highest price since at least 1988 as the maker of Nurofen painkillers forecast sales will increase. AstraZeneca, BP and Royal Dutch Shell traded without the right to their latest dividends, limiting gains on benchmark gauges.
The FTSE 100 added 20.73 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 6,359.11 at the close in London, the highest level since May 2008. The index has risen 7.8 per cent this year. The FTSE All-Share Index advanced 0.4 per cent yesterday.
Bank of England governor Mervyn King said Britain faces a further bout of inflation and a muted economic recovery. He pledged that officials will support growth where they can.
Heineken, the world’s third-largest brewer, rallied to a record close and Peugeot climbed the most in more than a month after France’s biggest automaker reported a narrower operating loss than predicted.
Kabel Deutschland Holding jumped to its highest price as Vodafone was said to consider a bid for Germany’s largest cable provider.
Société Générale slid 3.6 per cent after posting a wider-than-estimated loss.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.4 per cent to 288.27 at the close of trading, after dropping as much as 0.3 per cent.
National benchmark indexes rose in 16 of the 18 western European markets. France’s Cac 40 climbed 0.3 per cent while Germanys Dax added 0.7 per cent.
Euro zone industrial production increased more than economists forecast in December. Factory production in the 17- nation currency bloc rose 0.7 per cent from November, when it declined a revised 0.7 per cent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said.
US stocks fell in early trading, after benchmark indices rallied to the highest level in five years as investors weighed economic reports and President Barack Obama proposed spending on infrastructure and environmental programmes.
McDonald’s lost 1.4 per cent to lead the Dow Jones Industrial Average lower after Mr Obama announced his plan to raise the minimum wage.
Cliffs Natural Resources tumbled 19 per cent after cutting its dividend.
General Electric climbed 3.1 per cent after agreeing to sell its remaining stake in NBC Universal to Comcast for $16.7 billion. Comcast, the largest US cable company, jumped 4.4 per cent. – (Additional reporting by Bloomberg)