Markets rally on Syria and China news

Ryanair is best performer in Dublin as airlines in Europe have a good day

The Iseq rose by 1 per cent yesterday on heavy volumes as European stocks rose to their highest level in 3½ months.

Investors were buoyed by better-than-expected Chinese economic data and a lowering of tensions with regards to Syria. The US offered to defer an attack on the Assad regime if it complied with a Russian proposal to give up its chemical weapons.

Ryanair was the best performer on the Iseq, closing up almost 2.9 per cent as airlines generally performed well across Europe. By noon it was up more than 4 per cent, but fell back in the last half hour of trading.

CRH climbed 2.4 per cent to almost €17.63. The building materials group, which has operations across Europe, Asia and America, tends to be heavily influenced by global events such as the news yesterday from Syria.


Kerry Group's recent good run came to an end as it fell 1.7 per cent to €45.40. Traders said that, as a defensive stock, Kerry often performs weakly when markets are rallying.

The number of shares traded in FTSE 100-listed stocks was 17 per cent higher than the average of the past 30 days.

Airlines were the biggest gainers, benefitting from the lowering of Syrian tensions.

Budget airline EasyJet led the way, up 7.2 per cent to its highest level in a month on volumes twice its daily average.

Fellow airline group IAG, the BA owner run by former Aer Lingus chief executive Willie Walsh, rose 4.7 per cent.

GlaxoSmithKline, which accounts for 4.7 per cent of the FTSE 100, declined 2.5 per cent to £1.59 after the US Food and Drug Administration revised its guidelines for introducing generic versions of its Advair asthma drug.

Glencore Xstrata advanced 2.3 per cent to £3.28, its highest price since May 30th. The world's biggest exporter of power-station coal said synergies from its merger with Xstrata would be at least $2 billion.

Ashmore Group jumped 5.3 per cent to 382.2 pence. The UK fund manager that invests in emerging markets reported full-year pretax profit and revenue that exceeded estimates.

Car-makers were among the biggest winners on bourses across the continent as the bosses of major European manufacturers said sales appeared to be stabilising after five years of decline.

Shares in Volkswagen led the sector rally, jumping 4.8 per cent on high volume. Peugeot Citroen, Europe's second biggest car-maker, rose 1.8 per cent.

Alcatel-Lucent, which manufactures telecommunications equipment, jumped 7 per cent to a two-year high after speculation mounted that it is likely to play an active role in any mergers or acquisitions activity in its sector.

The news from across the Atlantic was the biggest shake-up of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in almost a decade. Goldman Sachs, Visa and Nike will replace Bank of America, Hewlett-Packard and Alcoa respectively from later this month.

Goldman rose 3.4 per cent to $164.96, while Visa gained 3 per cent to $183.99, and Nike advanced 1.5 per cent to $66.36 in early trade.

Alcoa lost 0.4 per cent to $8.05, Bank of America added 1.2 per cent to $14.66, and Hewlett-Packard shed 0.6 per cent to $22.22.

Fast food behemoth McDonald's gained 0.7 per cent to $97.08 after it reported a 1.9 per cent increase in global sales for August.

Apple dropped 0.4 per cent to $504 after the launch of the latest version of its blockbuster iPhone handset.

Urban Outfitters, the hipster-friendly fashion retailer with operations in Ireland, fell the most in the S&P 500, losing 11 per cent to $38.11. It said third quarter sales are growing steadily. – (additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters)

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times