Stocks advance on news of Iran deal

New entrant Game Account gains 12 per cent in Dublin as fall in oil price boosts airlines

European stocks advanced, after posting their first weekly loss since October, as Iran agreed to limit its nuclear programme, lifting airline stocks, including Ireland's Ryanair and Aer Lingus, as investors decided they are likely to benefit from the likely fall in oil prices.

Dealers also believe that the news will boost prospects of a recovery as a fall in oil prices will help consumers.

Airlines Ryanair and Aer Lingus gained altitude in Dublin as news of the Iran breakthrough boosted airline and travel stocks across Europe. Ryanair, by far the bigger of the two, was also in the news as it appeared that a deal allowing flights to Russia next year is close.

Ryanair climbed 2.09 per cent to close at €5.85 as around 6.8 million of its shares traded in Dublin.

Aer Lingus added 2.27 per cent to end the day at €1.352.


International building materials giant CRH added 1.04 per cent to close at €18.87 on decent volumes.

Food group Aryzta, which announced a 6.5 per cent increase in quarterly food revenues, shed 0.46 per cent to €54.75.

The Dublin market's latest addition, Game Account Network, had a good first day, with investors buying over 5.4 million shares. The company, led by Dermot Smurfit, and backed by members of his family and Betfair founder Andrew Black, floated at €1.61 and gained 12 per cent to close at €1.80.

IAG, the parent of British Airways, climbed 2.7 per cent to 372.4 pence, benefitting from the sharp fall in oil prices sparked by the Iran deal.

EasyJet added 1.4 per cent to 1,424 pence. Carnival rose 1.8 per cent to 2,268 pence.

SABMiller increased 0.8 per cent to 3,244 pence after analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded the brewer.

Petrofac gained 1.3 per cent to 1,206 pence after obtaining a joint contract with South Korean partner Daelim Industrial to upgrade a refinery in Oman.

Engineer Babcock International declined 3.4 per cent to 1,280 pence after announcing that it was in exclusive talks to form a joint venture with Avincis Mission Critical Services, a helicopter-service provider.

Air France advanced 1.8 per cent to €7.64. Peugeot gained 5.1 per cent to €10.75 after it emerged the board has approved hiring former Renault chief operating officer Carlos Tavares to replace Philippe Varin as chief executive. Renault added 1.5 per cent to €65.37.

Fresenius Medical Care, the world's biggest provider of kidney dialysis, jumped 7 per cent to €51.23. Medicare and Medicaid Services in the US issued a final ruling on Friday that keeps payments to companies including Fresenius unchanged for 2014. The original proposal was for a 9.4 per cent cut.

Novartis advanced 0.8 per cent to 72.75 Swiss francs after Natixis upgraded the shares to buy from neutral on the back of its $5 billion share buyback and the progress it is making in breast cancer research.

Predictions that Italian banks will require €44 billion more to cover bad debts sent shares in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena tumbling by 7.5 per cent to 20 euro cents.

Banco Popolare declined 4.2 per cent to €1.28, and Unione di Banche Italiane slid 3.1 per cent to €4.88.

US stocks were little changed yesterday afternoon after a modest rise that lifted the Nasdaq composite index above 4,000 for the first time since September 2000.

Crude futures fell 1.3 per cent and energy shares generally were weak. WPX Energy fell 2 per cent to $18.56, and Newfield Exploration lost 3.4 per cent to $29.01.

Facebook and Yelp continued their recent decline. Facebook shares fell 3.8 per cent to $44.49, and Yelp fell 7.9 per cent to $57.53. Twitter shares also fell 4.7 per cent to $38.94. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg)

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas