Europe’s record streak rolls on as investors cheer earnings

Paddy Power parent Flutter Entertainment up on US profit outlook; mixed day for Irish banks

Wall Street’s main indexes edged higher on Tuesday, helped by a rebound in oil prices. Photograph: Reuters

Wall Street’s main indexes edged higher on Tuesday, helped by a rebound in oil prices. Photograph: Reuters

 

European stocks hit record highs on Tuesday, extending gains for a seventh straight session as investors took comfort from strong earnings reports and economic recovery prospects despite concerns about the Delta variant of Covid-19.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index gained 0.4 per cent to notch an all-time high of 472.95 points. The travel and leisure sector was the top gainer as the world’s largest online betting group Flutter Entertainment, owner of Paddy Power Betfair, jumped 8.6 per cent after it forecast its US business would turn a profit by 2023.

Berlin-based meal-kit firm HelloFresh climbed 9.2 per cent after it reported strong second-quarter growth, as a rise in customers and persistently high order rates bumped up sales. The benchmark Stoxx 600 has inched up to fresh peaks this month as stronger than expected earnings, particularly from economically sensitive sectors, such as energy and financials, made investors optimistic that European equities, which have long underperformed their US peers, have more room to run.

DUBLIN

On the Iseq, Paddy Power Betfair owner Flutter was the main mover. Its shares surged 8.6 per cent after it said pre-tax profits trebled to £72 million (€91 million) in the first six months of 2021. The Irish gambling giant, which owns businesses in Europe, north America, Asia and Australia, said revenue in the first half of the year doubled to £3 billion from £1.5 billion during the same period in 2020.

Insulation manufacturer Kingspan was another one to gain on foot of a more positive economic outlook in Europe and the US, increasing by almost 3 per cent to €94.10. Building materials group CRH followed suit, lifting 1.5 per cent to €43.86.

Kilkenny-based food group Glanbia also traded up at €14.21 ahead of half-year results on Thursday. The global nutrition group is expected to deliver a strong performance despite the impact of the pandemic with its performance nutrition and nutritionals divisions contributing.

It was a mixed bag for the banks with AIB rising, Bank of Ireland declining and Permanent TSB trading flat on the day.

LONDON

Signs of improvement in British consumer spending drove the mid-cap index to a record high on Tuesday, while a recovery in energy stocks supported the FTSE 100.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index climbed 0.5 per cent to a record close of 23,572.05 points. Watches of Switzerland Group was among the top boosts to the index after it flagged strong demand going into next year. Homebuilder Bellway rose 1.2 per cent after it said its housing revenue was approaching pre-pandemic levels, and that bookings pointed to healthy demand across the country.

Energy stocks recovered from a slump on Monday, tracking a recovery in oil prices. Mining stocks rose as concerns over Chilean copper supply supported metal prices. British insurer and asset manager M&G dropped 3.1 per cent to the bottom of the FTSE 100 even after it posted an above-forecast 6 per cent rise in first-half operating profit and said it was on track to meet its end-2022 capital generation target.

EUROPE

Goldman Sachs raised its 12-month target for Stoxx 600 to 520 points from 480, saying it sees “good catch-up trade and value” in banks, energy and basic resources stocks. The US bank also lifted its target for London’s FTSE 100 to 7,900 points from 7,600. Still, investors were concerned about a stuttering economic recovery in Asia and United States due to a rapid rise in coronavirus cases and early withdrawal of an asset-purchase programme by the US federal reserve.

“The next few days could see increased volatility thanks to the numerous speeches from federal reserve officials and the widely anticipated US inflation report,” said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM. Among the decliners, Dutch food ingredients group Corbion fell 1.4 per cent after it cut its full-year adjusted Ebitda margin outlook. Air France KLM and French hotels company Accor slipped after the United States issued a travel warning because of high levels of the Covid-19 virus in France. Swiss duty-free retailer Dufry slipped 3 per cent despite boosting its 2021 savings and free cashflow outlook.

NEW YORK

Wall Street’s main indexes edged higher on Tuesday, helped by a rebound in oil stocks, while investors awaited a Senate vote on a much-anticipated $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors rose in early trading. The energy sector tracked a recovery in oil prices from a three-week low and was the top gainer, followed by materials shares. With new coronavirus cases rising steadily in the United States, progress on the infrastructure package is expected to help gauge fiscal support for the next leg of recovery in the world’s largest economy.

Rapid spread of the Delta variant has pushed cases and hospitalisations to a six-month high, with Covid-19 infections averaging 100,000 for three days in a row – up 35 per cent over the past week.

AMC Entertainment jumped 5.7 per cent after beating second-quarter revenue estimates as moviegoers returned to its theatres after a year of closures and restrictions. Kansas City Southern gained 7.8 per cent after Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd raised its offer for the US railroad operator by about $2 billion to $27.29 billion.– Additional reporting Reuters

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