Chinese relief for miners drags markets into the black

Iseq ends session flat as tech stocks help indices rise in the US

European stocks ended at a record high on Thursday after relief around property developer China Evergrande benefited China-focused mining stocks.

In the United States, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rebounded from two days of declines as beaten-down chipmakers led gains, but losses in Walt Disney due to slowing subscriber growth in its streaming video service weighed on the Dow.


The Iseq was flat at the end of the session.

Building materials group Kingspan bounced back 5.5 per cent to €102.15 per share, a day after it was under pressure following comments from the UK government that it could face a levy to pay for upgrades to buildings.


Permanent TSB was ahead by almost 1.3 per cent to €1.59 per share. It announced a €390 million loan sale to Morgan Stanley on Wednesday.

Smurfit Kappa Group rose 2.5 per cent to €46.32. The company is seeing growth in demand for sustainable packaging.


AutoTrader shares surged to the top of the FTSE 100 after it report record revenue of £215.4 million for its first-half numbers. It pushed profits to a new £152 million record, helping the company's shares to gain 14.1 per cent.

London's mining giants also lifted the index. Copper and precious metals prices stayed strong, pushing up BHP, Antofagasta, Polymetal, Glenore and others.

Johnson Matthey plunged after the loss of its chief executive of eight years, a profit warning and a newly announced plan to exit its battery materials business just as battery power is being touted as a major tool against global warming, did not impress investors. Shares dropped 19.1 per cent.

Luxury brand Burberry fell 5.0 per cent after it said sales flatlined in the second quarter due to bad weather and Covid-19 travel restrictions in China, taking the shine off the fashion brand's better-than-expected profit.

Discount retailer B&M dropped 5.5 per cent after posting lower first-half core earnings.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.3 per cent higher, with the mining sector rallying 3.7 per cent in its best day in four months. The Frankfurt Dax rose 0.1 per cent, while the Cac 40 in Paris gained 0.2 per cent.

Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal gained 4.1 per cent after reporting its strongest quarter in more than a decade. The company posted its highest quarterly profit since 2008 thanks to the lagging impact of high spot steel prices – its average selling price was 76 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Swiss chemical company Sika jumped 10.9 per cent to an all-time-high after agreeing to buy construction chemicals maker MBCC in a $6 billion deal. The acquisition will boost Sika's earnings per share from the first year after completion, according to a statement on Thursday. Sika, which makes building adhesives, said the price is 11.5 times expected 2022 earnings.

New York

Technology and communications stocks including Google owner Alphabet, Microsoft, Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook, Apple and Amazon rose between 0.3 per cent and 0.7 per cent.

Department-store stocks rallied after Dillard's reported strong quarterly results, pushing up its shares 15.5 per cent to a record high and spurring a 3 per cent jump in the S&P 1500 Department Store index.

Amazon-backed electric-vehicle maker Rivian Automotive surged 22.1 per cent, adding to the nearly 30 per cent gain on its blockbuster trading debut. Industry peers such as Nikola Corporation, Lordstown Motors, Fisker and Lucid advanced between 3.6 per cent and 14.4 per cent.

Tapestry climbed 9.4 per cent after the Coach handbag maker lifted its annual sales forecast, boosted by a strong rebound in demand for luxury goods.

Walt Disney shares sank the most since the onset of the pandemic after the company reported a smaller-than-expected increase in streaming subscribers, raising concerns that growth is slowing after a meteoric two-year rise. The shares sank more than 9 per cent in morning trading. – Additional reporting: Reuters/Bloomberg/PA

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times