European equities rally for fifth day as UK votes in EU poll
Banks among best performers on Iseq with Bank of Ireland surging nearly 6 per cent
A television monitor displays news of the Brexit vote on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange: financial markets are bracing for the outcome of Thursday’s historic UK referendum. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
European equities extended their rally into a fifth day, while Britain’s top share index rose to a two-month high on Thursday as the UK voted on membership of the European Union.
US stocks also rose, mirroring equities around the world and sending the S&P 500 Index toward the strongest gain in a month.
The Iseq in Dublin rose 1.3 per cent. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was up 1.2 per cent at 6,338.10 points at its close, taking gains for the week to 5.3 per cent, its biggest weekly advance since December 2011. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 1.5 per cent at the close of trading.
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Providence Resources, the troubled oil explorer that is strapped for capital, finished up 8.8 per cent, despite acquiring a new licence option on the Porcupine Basin.
Malin Pharmaceuticals didn’t budge, despite announcing it had secured €70 million in finance for new investments from the European Investment Bank.
Ryanair, which relies heavily on the British market and has a major stake in the Brexit vote, rose 1.3 per cent as expectations of a Remain vote increased.
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Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco was up 0.8 per cent, after reporting a second straight quarter of underlying sales growth in the UK – the first successive quarterly gain in more than five years.
British Airways owner IAG saw its share price soar more than 3 per cent, or 18.5p, to 528p, as traders expected the airline business to be boosted by a pro-Europe result.
In stocks, the London Stock Exchange was among the biggest risers as its £21 billion tie-up with Deutsche Borse looked more certain. Shares were up 81p to 2735p.
Spanish lender Santander, which has a meaningful UK exposure, rose 4.3 per cent, while Italian banks outperformed as expectations the UK will remain in the EU pushed Italian government bond yields down sharply. Italian banks are particularly exposed to sovereign debt. Nordea Bank slid 6.1 per cent after JPMorgan Chase & Co cut its rating on the stock.
Technology and industrial companies each gained more than 0.9 per cent. Utilities were little changed. Leucadia National and Comerica were the strongest performers among financials in the benchmark, with gains of more than 3.8 per cent. Zions Bancorporation and Charles Schwab rose at least 3.4 per cent.
The KBW Bank Index increased 2.6 per cent, on pace for the most since May 18th. Leading the rally in the tech group, Micron Technology jumped 8.8 per cent to a five-month high after Nomura Securities upgraded the shares to buy from the equivalent of sell, highlighting memory supply shortages and “firmer” prices. Western Digital rallied 5.5 per cent to the highest since March, and Qorvo increased 3.8 per cent to its strongest level in six months.
(Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters/PA)