Stocks up ahead of earnings season

European shares rebound from biggest decline in almost two weeks

Aer Lingus shares experienced “very light” volumes, closing up 1 per cent at €1.61.

Aer Lingus shares experienced “very light” volumes, closing up 1 per cent at €1.61.


Stocks rose in the US and Europe as investors awaited the start of second-quarter earnings season and the conclusion of a meeting of euro-area finance ministers to discuss aid for Greece.

Shares were also boosted by strong US jobs data at the end of last week, which reassured investors the US economy was still strengthening.

While there was a decent advance in markets across Europe yesterday, Dublin’s Iseq index slightly underperformed, finishing the day just 0.5 per cent higher at 4,022.

Volumes were light across the board according to one Dublin stockbroker, who said it was an uneventful day despite “ongoing chatter” between Aer Lingus and Ryanair which impacted their shares.

Ryanair was down nearly 1 per cent to €7.18, while Aer Lingus experienced “very light” volumes closing up 1 per cent at €1.61.

CRH traded in line with its peers, adding 2.4 per cent to finish the day at €15.63.

It was a bad day for companies in the exploration sector though, with Kenmare Resources, Dragon Oil and Providence Resources all falling more than 1.5 per cent.

Tullow Oil slipping 3.6 per cent to finish the day at €12.39, while Petroceltic dropped 3 per cent to €1.60.

Britain’s top share index rallied in thin volume as speculation about the divestment of Britain’s stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group lured buyers into UK lenders.

RBS rose 4.4 per cent to lead gains in the FTSE after reports that minority shareholders will be able to block a government plan to split it into a good and a bad bank, the latter of which would likely need to be recapitalised after the break-up.

ITV was 2.2 per cent higher amid speculation it is weighing up a £90 million bid for Helsinki-based production house Nice Entertainment Group, which would add to the group’s stable of original content and further reduce its reliance on volatile advertising markets.

With the exception of some heavily traded financial shares, volume was light at 82 per cent of the FTSE’s 90-day average. The FTSE 100 advanced 74.55 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 6,450.07 at the close in London.

European stocks rose, rebounding from their biggest decline in almost two weeks, amid speculation that economic data will improve and as Portugal’s politicians reached an agreement to hold the governing coalition together.

Novartis climbed 1.3 per cent after saying a psoriasis treatment met all its objectives in a clinical study.

Osram Licht traded at €23.80 after opening at €24 in its first day of trading in Frankfurt. Siemens, which spun off Osram, rallied 4.1 per cent to €78.15.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 1.4 per cent to 292.37 at the close. France’s CAC 40 gained 1.9 per cent and Germany’s DAX climbed 2.1 per cent.

US stocks mostly rose in early trading yesterday, extending gains after last week’s robust June payrolls report, to push the S&P 500 closer to its all-time high set in May.

Eight of the 10 S&P 500 industry sector indexes rose, led by gains in energy, utilities and consumer staples.

Consol Energy was among the S&P 500’s best performers, up 3.7 per cent at $27.48.

Technology shares fell, weighing on the Nasdaq Composite Index.

Intel was the S&P 500’s worst performer sliding 3.9 per cent to $23.12 after analysts at Evercore Partners downgraded the company’s stock.

In the biotech sector, Cytokinetics shares fell 1.1 per cent to $12.67 after the company disclosed a programming error in a study of its treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters)