Positive European news cheers markets
Global equity markets rose yesterday on signs of a healthier European financial system and a brighter outlook for Germany, while US stocks extended a rally to an eighth day.
The euro hit an 11-month high, to extend gains following the release of data showing the German economy gathering speed again after contracting late last year.
On par with its European peers, the Iseq index of Irish shares finished the week enthusiastically, climbing 23 points to close at 3,553. While most stocks ended the week on a high, it was a patchy day for volume.
Budget airline Ryanair finished the day up 1.4 per cent at €5.50, with one Dublin stockbroker attributing the gains to expectations of strong financial results next Monday, and good results from easyJet this week.
Elan stock rose 2.44 per cent to close at €7.63, Paddy Power was up 1.72 per cent at €62.05 and Kerry Group increased 1 per cent to €38.10.
Shares in CPL Resources also ended the day on a positive note, up 1.1 per cent to trade at €4.40 after increased interim profit announced on Thursday. Bank of Ireland rose 2.19 per cent to 14 cent.
The only loser of the day was building materials giant CRH, which declined, albeit less than 1 per cent to €15.77.
Market commentators said the index heavyweight had been “playing catch up” with its peers in recent months, and while it came off from highs yesterday, the stock maintained gains.
London’s blue-chip share index maintained its 2013 rally yesterday despite gloomy figures showing the UK economy is half-way to an unprecedented triple-dip recession.
GDP for the final three months of last year came in at a worse-than-expected level, but London’s top flight still ended the week more than 2 per cent higher. The FTSE 100 Index advanced to a 4½-year high, closed up 19.5 points at 6284.5.
The FTSE 100 was driven to its highest level since May 2008 from improvements by oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, which rose 30p to 22263.5p, and Vodafone after a rise of 1.6p to 170.3p.
Mining stocks were leading the fallers board. Evraz lost 2 per cent or 6.9p, while Eurasian Natural Resources was down 8.1p to 331.1p.
European shares scaled fresh multi-month peaks yesterday, with forecast-beating German data and bigger-than-expected paybacks of crisis-time loans by banks fuelling the conviction that the region is on the recovery path.
Frankfurt’s DAX index led the rally, scaling five-year highs and closing 1.4 per cent higher after the Ifo January business morale index beat the consensus to match the most optimistic economist’s forecast.
Confidence in the euro zone recovery was further bolstered by news that banks will repay €137 billion of European Central Bank crisis loans next week, around a third more than expected.
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena fell 12 per cent amid concern losses from derivatives contracts are threatening the lender’s earnings.
The Eurostoxx 50 index of euro-zone blue-chips provisionally closed up 0.8 per cent at 2,744.18 after setting a fresh 18-month intra-day peak of 2,748.13. France’s Cac 40 added 1 per cent.
US stocks rose yesterday as strong Procter Gamble earnings trumped weak housing numbers and helped carry the S&P 500 index toward its longest winning streak in more than eight years.
Its shares rose 3.7 per cent to $73.04 and gave the biggest boost to both the Dow and S&P 500 after the world’s top household products maker’s quarterly profit trumped expectations.
Apple dropped 2.1 per cent to $441.24. Its stock is off more than 17 per cent since the start of the year on growth concerns.
Starbucks rose 4.3 per cent to $56.94, after the coffee retailer reported stronger-than-expected sales in the US and Asia, helping to lift the Nasdaq.