Markets lifted by gains for mining, bank and tech stocks

Time Warner surges on news of takeover interest from 21st Century Fox

A woman walks past the Time Warner Center near Columbus Circle in Manhattan yesterday.  Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc said  it had offered to buy the company in  a move that would unite two of the world’s most powerful media conglomerates, but Time Warner rebuffed its offer. Photograph:  Reuters

A woman walks past the Time Warner Center near Columbus Circle in Manhattan yesterday. Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc said it had offered to buy the company in a move that would unite two of the world’s most powerful media conglomerates, but Time Warner rebuffed its offer. Photograph: Reuters

Wed, Jul 16, 2014, 22:09

European stocks advanced by the most since April as Portuguese banks led a rally by euro zone lenders and a report showed China’s economy expanded at a better-than-expected rate in the second quarter.

Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo jumped the most in at least 21 years after a Portuguese newspaper said the lender may raise €2 billion from new shareholders to strengthen its capital ratios. This led a rebound in the bank stocks of peripheral euro zone nations.

With the revelation of 21st Century Fox’s rebuffed bid for Time Warner, there was more takeover news, continuing the recent string of merger and acquisition (M&A) announcements. DUBLIN The Iseq index rose 1.3 per cent for a more convincing gain than Tuesday’s 0.3 per cent uptick, as all the major stocks edged ahead. Building materials group CRH, the largest constituent of the Iseq, climbed 1 per cent to €18.93, while paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa also had a good day, advancing 2.3 per cent to €15.85.

Ryanair rose 1.6 per cent to €6.87, while Aer Lingus climbed by 1.7 per cent to €1.37, as airline stocks recovered some of the ground lost after last week’s Air France profit warning. Bank of Ireland finished up 2.4 per cent at 26 cent on a day of upward momentum for European lenders.

Insulation-maker Kingspan closed up 0.5 per cent at €12.64, while it was also a decent day for the food stocks, with Kerry climbing 0.5 per cent to finish at €57.30 and cheese-maker Glanbia advancing 0.6 per cent to €11.59.

Drinks group C&C was one of the few relatively well-traded stocks to close in negative territory, however, with its share price slipping 0.4 per cent to €4.30 on what was a quietly positive day for the Irish market. LONDON The FTSE 100 gained 1.1 per cent, rebounding from the previous day’s decline, as commodity stocks led the blue-chip index higher.

Rio Tinto added 2.8 per cent to close at 3,334.5 pence after the second-largest mining company said iron-ore output had increased 11 per cent. Glencore climbed 3.6 per cent to 359 pence and BHP Billiton gained 2.1 per cent to 2,034 pence.

ARM Holdings, the company that supplies the chip designs for Apple’s iPad, increased 2.3 per cent to 853 pence, after Intel, the world’s largest maker of computer processors, said on Tuesday that its third-quarter sales would exceed analysts’ projections.

EUROPE All 18 western-European markets advanced, with France’s Cac 40 gaining 1.5 per cent and Germany’s Dax rising 1.4 per cent.Banco Santander, Spain’s biggest lender, rose 1.9 per cent to €7.43, while Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, the second largest, added 1.8 per cent to €9.16 and Banco de Sabadell rose 6 per cent to €2.45.

Gtech climbed 4.1 per cent to €19.19 after the Italian company said it would pay $18.25 for each share in Las Vegas-based IGT. Husqvarna jumped 7.9 per cent to 55.55 kronor. The world’s biggest maker of powered garden tools reported second-quarter operating income of 1.38 billion kronor ($202 million). US US stocks advanced as companies from Apple to Time Warner and Intel rallied amid deals and earnings reports. Time Warner surged 17 per cent to $83.13, the largest gain in the S&P 500, as it emerged that Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox had made a takeover bid that was rebuffed. Fox shares fell 3.5 per cent.

Intel gained 9.2 per cent in early trading, making it the biggest climber in the Dow Jones Index, as its third-quarter sales forecast fuelled optimism the personal-computer market is emerging from a two-year slump.

Apple fell 0.54 per cent and IBM added 2 per cent after the two companies agreed to develop applications for corporate users of wireless devices. (Additional reporting: Bloomberg)