European markets rally on strong results

Dublin lags peers as leading stocksunderperform

European shares rallied on strong corporate results on Thursday, although dealers said that the Dublin market underperformed.

A special dividend from Lloyds and revivals in commodity stocks and oil prices also aided equity markets.


Irish stocks also rebounded but the market lagged its peers as some leading stocks failed to keep pace with others in their industries.

Low-cost carrier Ryanair rose 1.3 per cent to €14, underperforming its sector. Dealers said that there were one or two large sellers in the market, although they added that these had been cleared by the close of business.


More than three million of its shares changed hands in Dublin yesterday, above its average volumes on the Irish market.

Packaging group Smurfit Kappa gained 1.1 per cent to end the day at €21.13, a performance that was also behind its peers.

Real estate investment trust, Green Reit, which published its full-year 2015 results on Monday, slid 2.5 per cent to €1.326. Investors sold more than 4.6 million of its shares on Thursday, about 170 per cent of its normal volume.

Traders said that it had been trading around the €1.40-mark before publishing its figures on Monday, but had traded back since then.

Bank of Ireland, another which published results earlier this week, tumbled 4.6 per cent to 25 cent. Rival Permanent TSB shed 2.4 per cent to close at €2.40.


Top flight stocks in London rallied higher as positive UK economic data and a special dividend from Lloyds Banking Group helped bolster shares.

Banking giant Lloyds saw shares climb more than 9 per cent or 6pence sterling to 68.2p, as traders were won over by its £2 billion special dividend, despite a 7per cent drop in pre-tax profits to £1.6 billion for 2015.

The FTSE 100 Index was up 135.3 points to 6,002.7 as the Office for National Statistics confirmed UK gross domestic product grew by 0.5% in the fourth quarter of last year. It means GDP expanded at the same level as previously estimated for the whole of 2015 at 2.2% — with the UK remaining the fastest growing G7 nation.

A revival of commodity stocks also bolstered the market. Mining giants Anglo American and Glencore lifted 31.3 p to 441.2p and 5.9p to 122.1p respectively. Brent Crude was down 1per cent to $34.08 a-barrel, following a late rally in the previous session where it rose more than 2 per cent.


The FTSEurofirst remains down by around 10 percent since the start of 2016, dragged by concerns about a slowing global economy and the health of Europe’s banking sector.

Markets were looking ahead to this weekend's G20 meeting of world financial leaders in Shanghai but some investors were sceptical it could provide a big boost to sentiment.

AXA progressed 1.5 percent after posting higher profits, and gains in top banking and insurance stocks added the most points to European stock markets.

Phone group Deutsche Telekom rose more than 3 percent after better than expected fourth-quarter results in its domestic German market, helped by expansion of its super-fast broadband network.

German builder Hochtief rose 10 percent after its full-year operational net profit rose more than expected, as its European division for the first time in many years achieved a clear break-even result.

"Today it was one of the busiest days for corporate earnings in Europe and the market has been strongly rewarding companies that have beaten consensus," said Stephane Ekolo, Chief European Strategist at Market Securities.

Zodiac Aerospace slumped 23 percent after announcing a profit warning. According to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, 53 percent of companies on the European

STOXX 600 index have met or beaten market expectations with their fourth quarter results.

US investment bank Citigroup cut its 2016 global economic growth forecast but kept an "overweight" position on European shares excluding the UK, as it felt the UK market would be impacted by uncertainty around Britain's 'Brexit' vote in June on whether or not to stay in the European Union.


Wall Street was little changed in choppy trading as strong US durable goods data pointed to a recovery in the struggling manufacturing sector.

Orders for US durable goods rose more than expected in January, as demand picked up across the board.

Shares of Salesforce, which has a significant presence in the Republic, surged 9.2 percent to $68.27 after the company reported higher-than-expected revenue and raised its full-year forecast. The stock gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500.

NetEase was down 15.3 percent at $135.50 after the Chinese online games maker reported disappointing quarterly sales. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,548 to 1,296. On the Nasdaq, 1,274 issues fell and 1,198 advanced.

Additional reporting: Press Association, Reuters

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

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