US jobs data drives values higher

Sat, Oct 6, 2012, 01:00

Dow Jones:13,610.15 (+0.26%) Nasdaq:3,136.19 (-0.42%) S&P 500:1,460.93 (-0.03%)

STOCK MARKETS had a stellar close to the week, with equity markets up across the board, as investors bought into equities.

A report showing that the US jobless rate unexpectedly declined in September helped to boost sentiment.

DUBLIN

THE ISEQ index finished up 1.1 per cent in line with most of its peers, with one Dublin trader noting that the Irish market is now up 15 per cent on the year.

Volumes were relatively strong, and most of the big names ended the session in positive territory.

Index heavyweight CRH closed up 2.6 per cent at €15, while Ryanair advanced 2.4 per cent to close at €4.61, boosted in part by positive results from Easyjet on Wednesday.

There were some big sellers in the market, particularly of Smurfit Kappa and Bank of Ireland stock. Smurfit climbed by 3 per cent, closing at €8.21, while Bank of Ireland added 2 per cent to €0.103.

Irish Continental Group closed up almost 3 per cent at €18.40, after the company announced that its tender offer had been oversubscribed.

LONDON

BRITISH STOCKS climbed, with the FTSE 100 advancing for the first week in three, rising 43.24 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 5,871.02 at the close in London, and extending its gains for the week to 2.3 per cent.

Burberry Group jumped 2.8 per cent after Morgan Stanley recommended investors buy the retailers shares.

John Wood Group climbed by the same amount after the company said it was confident of meeting full-year projections.

The company said it continued to deliver growth amid “favourable” conditions in the energy markets.

Rentokil Initial climbed 1.4 per cent to 88.45 pence amid speculation the world’s biggest pest control company company could become a takeover target.

Hunting gained 3.4 per cent after Deutsche Bank named the company among its preferred UK oil stocks.

BAE Systems fell amid a report its merger with EADS may fall through.

Mining companies also advanced, as a gauge of basic- resource producers rallied 1.1 per cent after a three-day retreat. Vedanta Resources jumped 3.4 per cent to 1,101 pence, Kazakhmys increased 4.5 per cent to 738 pence and Rio Tinto gained 2.2 per cent to 2,987 pence.

EUROPE

EUROPEAN STOCKS also climbed, boosted by the positive US jobless figures. National benchmark indexes rose in all of the 18 western European markets with the exception of Iceland. France’s CAC-40 advanced 1.6 per cent and Germany’s DAX climbed almost 1.3 per cent.

BNP Paribas, France’s biggest bank, rallied 3.5 per cent to €39.39. BMW advanced 2.1 per cent to €60.99. Banco Espirito Santo led gains on the Stoxx, climbing 8.6 per cent to €68.4

In Greece, shares of National Bank of Greece and Eurobank Ergasias were suspended after gaining 4 per cent to €2.09 and 7.3 per cent to €1.17, respectively. National Bank, the nation’s biggest lender, and domestic competitor Eurobank Ergasias are in talks to merge, according to reports.

US

US STOCKS soared yesterday, with the Dow hitting its highest level in five years at one point, following the unexpected drop in the unemployment rate.

The SP also rose for a fifth day and was heading towards a five-year high.

It wasn’t all good news, however, with Zynga shares plummeting 19.1 per cent to $2.27 in morning trade after it slashed its 2012 outlook for a second time, fanning doubts about the games maker’s ability to shore up its dwindling earnings.

Facebook, which derives more than a tenth of its revenue from fees paid by Zynga, also saw its shares fall during the day – off 2.5 per cent to $21.40.

Investors are turning their attention to the start of the third-quarter earnings season next week.

Alcoa kicks off earnings on Tuesday and is expected to show zero earnings per share compared to 15 US cents a year ago. The shares rose 0.2 per cent to $9.09

Sprint Nextel rose 3 per cent to $5.25, while MetroPCS gained 1.2 per cent to $12.84 following reports that Sprint Nextel is considering making a rival bid for MetroPCS Communications, which agreed to a merger with Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile USA on Wednesday.

Oil prices fell yesterday. Brent and US crude shot up 4 per cent on Thursday, but the rally only offset a slide of similar percentages the previous session.

Brent November crude was down $1.73 at $110.85 a barrel, having moved from $110.54 to $113.05.

Crude oil prices have been supported by fears about potential threats to supply emanating from the situation in Syria. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg)