China’s economic plans lift stocks
Oil prices rally as Saudi Arabia agrees to work with others to calm volatility
The building materials giant CRH gained 3.1 per cent in Dublin to finish the day at €23.70
China’s latest move to boost its economy helped lift stocks on Wall Street and in Europe, and oil prices rallied after Saudi Arabia said it would work with other producers to limit oil market volatility. But US data, showing an unexpected drop in contracts for home resales, gave some investors pause.
It was also a good day for Paddy Power Betfair, with 480,000 shares traded. The bookmaker was up 2.6 per cent at €139.85.
FBD Holdings finished the day up 6.4 per cent at €6.65. The company announced 2015 full-year results yesterday, reporting losses of €85 million following an “exceptionally difficult year”. The insurer has forecast a return to profitability at end-2016. Glanbia fell 1.2 per cent to €18.36, while Total Produce fell 6.7 per cent to €1.42.
Online grocer Ocado slumped 7.8 per cent, after Amazon. com stepped up its incursion into Britain’s grocery market by signing an agreement with Morrison Supermarkets. Morrison shares added 5.9 per cent. The UK’s biggest supermarket Tesco saw shares fall more than 2 per cent.
Anglo American rose 6.6 per cent while rival Glencore advanced 4 per cent.
The biggest fallers in the FTSE 100 Index were London Stock Exchange down 139p at 2678p, Berkeley Group down 100p at 3249p, Shire down 109p at 3788p and Capita down 28p at 1002p.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up 1.1 points – flat in percentage terms – at 6,097.09 points.
The focus is turning to the European Central Bank meeting next week, after President Mario Draghi signalled policy makers will consider adding stimulus. The region’s shares have dropped for a third month, their longest run since 2012.
The DAX Index fell 0.5 per cent, the most among western-European markets. The gauge, down 3.4 per cent in February, is among this year’s worst-performing equity measures tracked by Bloomberg, along with Greece’s ASE Index and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index.
European banks dropped for a third month. Credit Suisse and Italy’s Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena fell more than 1.8 per cent yesterday.
Bolsas y Mercados Espanoles and Deutsche Boerse declined at least 1.7 per cent after rallying last week on merger activity.
Valeant was down 7.3 per cent at $74.73 after the Canadian drugmaker delayed the release of its quarterly results.
Icahn Enterprises was up 7.4 per cent at $61.63 after the activist investor offered to buy the rest of Federal Mogul. Shares of the auto parts maker soared 43.2 per cent to $7.13.
At 17.34 GMT, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.27 per cent, at 16,684.31, the S&P 500 was up 0.27 per cent, at 1,953.31 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 0.45 per cent, at 4,611.00. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters)