CRH leads the advance on the Iseq

Irish market follows its European peers in advancing by 2 per cent

Better than expected earnings results saw markets across the globe advance yesterday, bringing the Irish market with them.

"Everything was up today," is how one Dublin broker reflected on the Iseq's performance yesterday, as it followed the lead set by European markets to advance by 2.63 per cent, or 100.73 points, to close up at 3,930.60.

Index heavyweight CRH was to the fore of the bull market, adding 86 cent, or 5.6 per cent to close up at €16.21. The strong performance from the stock might have been in part due to the good data coming out of the US with regards to road building programmes gathering pace.

Drinks group C&C also pushed ahead, as investment bank Goldman Sachs put it on one of its preferred stock lists. It added 19 cent, or 3.8 per cent, to finish up at €5.00.


Following Davy's downgrade of Paddy Power on Monday, which led to a sell-off in the stock, the company rebounded yesterday, adding €2.06 or 3.3 per cent to close up at €63.59.

Less buoyant was packaging group Smurfit Kappa , which continues to struggle to get back above €11.90. It under-performed the market, closing up by 12 cent, or 1 per cent at €11.90.

UK stocks advanced the most since their first trading day this year as companies from ARM Holdings to Associated British Foods reported sales that exceeded analysts' estimates.

The FTSE 100 Index rose 125.5 points, or 2 per cent, to 6,406.12 at the close in London, its largest rally since January 2nd.

"The sentiment is positive and investors are recouping the losses of last week," Lorne Baring, managing director of B Capital in Geneva, said. "Earnings expectations are low, so good news is being seized upon as light at the end of the tunnel."

ARM jumped the most in almost 4½ years after saying that demand increased for its graphics and processing technology. The designer of chips for Apple’s iPhone surged 12 per cent to 972 pence, the highest price since March 2000. Revenue in the quarter ending in March rose 29 per cent to £170.3 million amid demand for its graphics and processing technology, the company said.

European stocks jumped the most in eight months as speculation grew that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index soared 2.4 per cent to 292.63 at the close of trading, the biggest jump since August 3rd. Germany's DAX rallied 2.4 per cent, while France's CAC 40 jumped by 3.6 per cent for the biggest gain since August.

"We are reasonably positive and look for another 7 to 10 per cent on equities worldwide this year," said Alan Higgins, chief investment officer at Coutts in London.

Cie Financiere Richemont reported results that topped estimates resulting in the stock surging the most since 2008 as the maker of Cartier jewellry said net income climbed. It rallied 8.3 per cent to 73.80 Swiss francs, the biggest gain since December 2008.

US stocks rose, sending the Standard and Poor's 500 Index higher for a third day, as earnings from Travelers to Netflix beat estimates and new-home sales rose in March.

Netflix jumped 24 per cent to $215.92 for the biggest advance in the S&P 500 after acquiring more new subscribers than analysts forecast. The company said it gained two million new US customers last quarter, reaching 29.2 million.

Coach , the largest US luxury handbag maker, climbed the most since October, adding 9.9 per cent to $55.60 as quarterly profit and sales both exceeded analyst estimates.

Bank of America rose 3.6 per cent to $12.14 for the biggest gain in the Dow. Morgan Stanley upgraded the second-largest US lender to overweight because expense savings are greater than potential legal costs.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times