Apple’s trillion-dollar marker encourages investors

Market report: Earnings announcements lift European shares at the end of volatile week

Apple logo on a monitor outside the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York, August 2nd, 2018. Photograph: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

Apple logo on a monitor outside the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York, August 2nd, 2018. Photograph: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

 

Earnings announcements lifted European shares on Friday at the end of another volatile week, as investors drew encouragement from Apple becoming the world’s first trillion-dollar company.

Sentiment has been constrained this week by fresh concerns over global trade.

Dublin

The Iseq index closed up 0.9 per cent, recovering most of the losses sustained in a poor Thursday session, with Bank of Ireland and cement-maker CRH among the risers.

Irish Residential Properties Reit climbed almost 3.4 per cent to €1.42 after a strong set of half-year results that saw its gross rents come in at 2.5 per cent above forecast.

Hibernia Reit rose 1.4 per cent to €1.48, while Green Reit added 0.5 per cent to €1.55. However, Cairn Homes fell 0.5 per cent to €1.67.

After a 3.3 per cent drop in the previous session, Ryanair again finished in the red, but limited its decline to 0.2 per cent, closing at €12.98.

Baking group Aryzta fell to a new record low, ending down 2.9 per cent at €10.75. Paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa, the beneficiary of an earnings forecast upgrade from Davy Research, added 1.6 per cent to finish at €36.02 on a good day for peer Mondi.

LONDON

The FTSE 100 climbed 1.1 per cent on Friday as cyclical stocks recovered thanks to a respite from trade and Brexit worries, while results from Mondi and RBS were well-received.

Shares in RBS jumped 3.1 per cent and touched their highest level since the end of June after the bank reported half-year results that were better than expected and announced its first dividend in a decade. This lifted other financial stocks.

Paper and packaging company Mondi gained 7.9 per cent after its results beat expectations. However, shares in Aer Lingus-owner IAG were at the bottom of the index, down 2.2 per cent after its results came in below expectations. Strikes by French air traffic control weighed on its second-quarter operating profit.

Results were also in focus among mid-cap stocks as shares in William Hill tumbled 8.1 per cent. The betting company posted a half-year loss and warned of more charges as it revamps its retail business due to tougher regulation at home.

EUROPE

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed up 0.7 per cent but ended the week on a 0.5 per cent loss.

France’s Credit Agricole posted the best performance of Paris’s Cac 40 index with a 2.3 per cent rise with second-quarter profits ahead of estimates, while the Cac 40 itself rose 0.3 per cent.

In Germany, the Dax added 0.55 per cent. German insurer Allianz rose 1 per cent after it reaffirmed it is on track to meet its 2018 profit target.

Heineken shares added 2.3 per cent after the firm sealed a $3.1 billion tie-up with the owner of China’s largest brewer, China Resources Beer, under which Heineken will take a 40 per cent stake in the Chinese company.

Apple was a driver for the broader tech sector in Europe, which climbed 0.6 per cent with chipmakers – some of which supply the iPhone maker – the top gainers.

US

Consumer staples results boosted Wall Street, though a trade spat between the US and China and tepid US jobs numbers capped gains and weighed down the dollar.

The S&P consumer staples sector rose 0.8 per cent and led the gains among major S&P sectors, after getting a boost from Kraft Heinz earnings. Kraft Heinz jumped 5.7 per cent after beating profit and revenue estimates.

Apple hit new record highs after it crossed the $1 trillion market capitalisation threshold on Thursday.

After reporting strong quarterly results, Japanese carmaker Toyota said earlier on Friday that higher US tariffs would have a “big impact” on its bottom line, while oil prices fell back on trade tensions. – Additional reporting: Reuters