Markets gain on figures from Germany
Global shares rose to an almost two-month high and the euro gained against the dollar yesterday after German investor sentiment improved sharply in December and the pace of talks in Washington to avoid the fiscal cliff quickened.
The upbeat news from Germany fed into broader seasonal optimism in equity markets, which have posted December gains in 12 of the last 15 years.
The Dublin market closed up in the positive sentiment, although volumes were weak for many shares.
It was a good day for many companies on the Irish market with packaging group Smurfit Kappa gaining 2.68 per cent to finish at €9.18, drinks group CC finishing up 1.88 per cent at €4.18 and construction materials company CRH also rising, albeit less than 1 per cent.
Clinical research firm Icon also finished the day on a high, closing up 7.58 per cent at €22.70. The company is to hold an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting this Friday in respect of the proposed conversion to direct listing of its shares on Nasdaq.
Exploration group Dragon Oil was one of the losers of the day, after it traded almost 4 per cent weaker, declining to €6.62 a share.
Britain’s blue-chip index posted its highest close in nine months, supported by strong German economic data but enduring a late sell-off as it balked at technical resistance. Miners were among the top gainers, with basic materials adding six points and bringing the index into positive territory.
Whitbread rallied to a two-decade high after saying sales growth at its Costa Coffee shops increased. Asos climbed to a record high after reporting first-quarter sales that beat analyst estimates.
Diageo fell 1.6 per cent after the world’s largest distiller ended talks to buy the José Cuervo tequila brand.
The FTSE 100 added less than 0.1 per cent, to 5,924.97, in London, the highest since March 19th.
European stocks advanced to an 18- month high amid speculation that the US Federal Reserve will expand stimulus measures and as German investor confidence in November beat forecasts.
ThyssenKrupp, Germany’s biggest steelmaker, jumped 5.6 per cent after saying the sale of its Steel Americas unit is on track. Suez Environnement climbed the most in more than three months after GDF Suez chief executive Gerard Mestrallet said his company would retain its stake in Europe’s second-largest water utility.
KBC fell 4.8 per cent to €22.34 after raising €1.25 billion from a share sale to maintain capital reserves amid accelerated reimbursements of state aid.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3 per cent at the close of trade, its seventh day of gains and longest winning streak in 17 months. France’s Cac gained 0.9 per cent, while Germanys Dax advanced 0.8 per cent.
US stocks rose yesterday as Intel, 3M, Merck and Microsoft rose at least 1.5 per cent to lead gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. AIG rallied 5.7 per cent after the treasury department said it was selling its last 234.2 million shares of the insurer, ending its bailout of the company that fuelled resentment against Wall Street.
Apple advanced 2.2 percent as Morgan Stanley reiterated its overweight rating for the world’s most valuable company after the stock lost 25 per cent from its record in September.
Delta Air Lines rose 5.1 per cent after agreeing to buy a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways from Singapore Airlines.
Facebook will join the Nasdaq 100 tomorrow, replacing Infosys. The social network operator will represent 1.02 percent of the index and require exchange-traded funds that track the gauge to own $356.2 million worth of Facebook shares, according to Markit, a London-based research firm. Facebook rose 0.1 per cent. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters