World indexes led by European rebound
World stock markets edged higher yesterday, led by European shares which rebounded from their slide the previous day. The euro rose 0.4 per cent to $1.3462, accelerating gains after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said there was no such thing as a currency war.
Ireland outperformed its European counterparts yesterday, with the Iseq index closing up 1.3 per cent. The big news of the day, that the European Commission intended to block Ryanair’s €694 million bid for Aer Lingus, had a negative impact on Aer Lingus shares.
Aer Lingus stock fell aggressively, by as much as 7.3 per cent, the biggest intra-day drop in almost a year, but regained some ground to close down 4.3 per cent at €1.28.
Bank of Ireland closed up 1.5 per cent on the back of news that SP had upgraded Ireland’s outlook to “stable”.
News that oil and gas explorer Providence Resources had surrendered its foreshore licence at Kisk Bank Basin near Dalkey had little bearing on shares, one stockbroker said. The stock finished down less than 1 per cent, at €6.99.
Biopharma group Elan gained 5.27 per cent to close at €7.63. The stock had been “extremely volatile since the company announced it was selling Tysabri, with people wondering what management will do with the cash”, one analyst said.
A surge in Barclays’ shares led Britain’s benchmark index past the psychologically important 6,300 level yesterday, as the blue chip bank’s planned overhaul raised hopes for the troubled sector’s revival.
Barclays gained 8.4 per cent, leading FTSE 100 gainers and adding over 12 points to the index alone, after unveiling plans to slash annual costs by up to £2 billion. The bank plans to prune its investment bank and axe at least 3,700 jobs.
It also raised its dividend and reported a 26 per cent rise in adjusted pre-tax profit for 2012.
Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland were the second and third biggest gainers, rising 5.1 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively.
Stocks rebounded from their slide yesterday, as cost cuts at Barclays outweighed worse-than-expected earnings at Michelin.
Michelin led a gauge of European motor industry-related shares lower after reporting profits that fell short of analysts’ estimates. The tyremaker dropped 4.3 per cent to €69.55 after reporting operating profit of €2.42 billion.
Finmeccanica dropped 7.3 per cent, the most in 14 months, after police arrested its chief executive officer as part of an investigation into bribery.
Deutsche Lufthansa added 2 per cent after DZ Bank upgraded its recommendation on the shares.
The DAX rose 0.4 per cent at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.5 per cent at the close and France’s CAC closed up less than 1 per cent.
US stocks closed modestly higher yesterday, putting the Dow within striking distance of an all-time high.
Housing shares were among the strongest of the day, led by a 12.5 per cent jump in Masco after the home improvement product maker said it expected new home construction to show strong growth in 2013.
The PHLX housing sector index rose 3.7 per cent.
Shares of Smith Wesson fell 2 cents while Sturm Ruger was up 0.4 per cent.
Avon Products surged 20 per cent as the SP 500’s top percentage gainer after the cosmetics company reversed sales declines and cut costs.
On the downside, Coca-Cola fell 2.7 per cent and was the biggest drag on the Dow after reporting revenue below estimates, hurt by a weaker-than-expected performance in Europe.
Michael Kors jumped 8.8 per cent after the fashion company handily beat Wall Street’s estimates and raised its full-year outlook. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters)