Coronavirus vaccine hopes and positive US jobs figures boost markets

On the Iseq, Ryanair, CRH and AIB advance while Smurfit Kappa falls nearly 4%

Growing coronavirus vaccine hopes and positive jobs news from the US boosted markets on Thursday.


Ryanair climbed 2.86 per cent to €10.97 on news that the UK government intended further easing quarantine rules, boosting travel stocks. The UK is one of the Irish group's biggest markets. It also emerged that Irish-based cabin crew at the airline were voting on a deal reached with their trade union Fórsa.

Packaging maker Smurfit Kappa fell 3.74 per cent to €28.34. Shares in UK rival DS Smith fell more than 7 per cent despite the company reporting a double-figure increase in sales.

Building materials giant and index heavyweight CRH advanced 3.25 per cent to €31.79.

In the same industry, insulation specialist Kingspan, climbed 1.53 per cent to €59.70.

Good news from the US and investors’ positive mood would have aided both companies’ shares.

Paddy Power owner, global betting giant Flutter Entertainment, closed 2.97 per cent ahead at €119.75.

House builder Cairn Homes added 4.83 per cent to 89 cent. Rival Glenveagh Properties ended the day 3.5 per cent ahead on 71 cent.

Commercial property player Hibernia Real Estate Investment Trust was up 0.72 per cent at €1.122.

AIB was up 3.6 per cent at €1.15. Bank of Ireland added 1.27 per cent to €1.83.


Penneys owner Associated British Foods climbed 4.15 per cent to 2046 pence sterling after saying that trading in its stores, known as Primark outside the Republic, had been "re-assuring and encouraging".

Aer Lingus and British Airways owner, International Consolidated Airlines' Group added 5.7 per cent to 231.7p. Rival EasyJet rose 2.18 per cent to 684.2p. Airlines restarted flying part of their schedules this week after more than three months of coronavirus travel bans.

Reports claiming that the British government intended ending quarantine rules for passengers arriving from 75 countries boosted travel stocks by 2 per cent overall on Thursday on the London market.

Engineering group Meggit, which makes parts for aircraft, jumped 6.2 per cent to 324p after reporting that it was seeing signs of increased demand from airlines.

Packaging maker DS Smith, a rival of Smurfit Kappa, fell 7.2 per cent to 295.8p.

Brewer Whitbread rose 4.3 per cent to 2,349p. Supermarket chain Sainsbury fell 1 per cent to 200.4p. Bank HSBC rose 5 per cent to 389.1p.


European markets traded up as Pfizer and Biontech said they had seen positive results in trials of a potential Covid-19 vaccine. Most indices rose, Paris's Dac ended the day up 2.5 per cent while Frankfurt's Dax was up 2.8 per cent.

Air France KLM rose 2.41 per cent to €4.17 as airlines performed well in many markets.

Cement maker Buzzi Unicem, a European rival of Irish giant CRH, rose 2.4 per cent to €19.53.


Wall Street rose on Thursday, with the Nasdaq hitting an all-time high, after a record-setting increase in monthly US jobs pointed to a rebound in business activity following the easing of coronavirus-led lockdowns.

The US economy created 4.8 million jobs in June, the most since the government began keeping records in 1939, but lay offs remained high.

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 were also boosted on Thursday by a 1.5 per cent rise in shares of Microsoft Corp. The tech giant was the most invested in stock globally on the eToro trading platform in June.

Tesla Inc jumped 7.3 per cent after beating Wall Street estimates for second-quarter vehicle deliveries.

At 6.12pm Irish time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 240.71 points, or 0.94 per cent, at 25,975.68, the S&P 500 was up 29.61 points, or 0.95 per cent, at 3,145.47. The Nasdaq Composite was up 109.31 points, or 1.08 per cent, at 10,263.94.

Additional reporting: Reuters