European markets rebound ahead of Federal Reserve meeting

Iseq follows other European indices higher, closing up nearly 2%

European shares extended gains to record their best session since early December on Wednesday as recently bruised energy, travel and technology stocks recovered ahead of a US Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting.

DUBLIN

The Iseq followed other European indices higher, closing up nearly 2 per cent at 8065.58.

Among the big movers was insulation maker Kingspan, which rebounded after a sell-off earlier in the week. It gained 4 per cent to €83.48.

Airlines were in focus across Europe after Wizz Air posted results. Ryanair underperformed versus peers such as IAG, but it still closed 2.6 per cent higher at €16.52.

Banks were also of interest to investors. AIB was up 3.6 per cent to €2.24 with Bank of Ireland up 1.9 per cent at €5.71.

Other movers in Dublin included Paddy Power parent Flutter, up 1.9 per cent, and CRH, up 1.5 per cent.

LONDON

The FTSE 100 rose on Wednesday with heavyweight mining, energy and banking shares leading gains before the outcome of a US Federal Reserve meeting, while Playtech dropped on reports of a potential breakup. The blue-chip FTSE 100 rose 1.3 per cent with Royal Dutch Shell, Glencore and HSBC Holdings the top boosts to the index. The banking sub-index rose 2.6 per cent, tracking higher yields.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index was up 1.1 per cent with travel and leisure stocks leading gains.

Pets At Home jumped 2.7 per cent after the pet supplies retailer raised its profit outlook for fiscal 2022.

Hungary-based carrier Wizz Air fell 0.2 per cent after it posted a third-quarter operating loss and said the fourth quarter loss was likely to be slightly higher, before an expected improvement in spring.

Gambling software maker Playtech fell 6.9 per cent and was among the worst performers on the mid-cap index after it once again backed a buyout by Aristocrat Leisure, following a report that the London-listed company was exploring a breakup if the deal does not go through.

EUROPE

The pan-European Stoxx 600 rose 1.7 per cent, with all sectors in positive territory, marking the second straight session of gains after it fell by about 4 per cent on Monday.

After being hit by concerns over conflict in Ukraine, oil and gas stocks rose 4 per cent, their best day since November 2020 and leading gains, alongside travel and miners.

Technology stocks, representing many of Europe’s growth-oriented firms, also bounced after coming under pressure from expectations of a hawkish Fed stance.

Italian fashion group Tod’s jumped 15.8 per cent after sales rose by nearly 40 per cent last year, its first increase after five years of declines and beating market forecasts.

BioNTech gained 6.3 per cent after the company and Pfizer said that they had started a clinical trial to test a new version of their vaccine specifically designed to target the Omicron variant.

Italy’s biggest debt recovery firm DoValue gained 2.8 per cent after saying it would aim to keep the amount of loans it manages stable at €160 billion to the end of 2024.

NEW YORK

Wall Street's main indexes climbed in early trading on Wednesday after two turbulent sessions and ahead of the outcome of a Federal Reserve policy meeting, with a stellar outlook from Microsoft boosting technology stocks.

Microsoft gained 4.3 per cent after estimating current-quarter revenue broadly ahead of market estimates, driven in part by its cloud business. Chip maker Texas Instruments rose 4.7 per cent as it also gave a strong outlook.

Tesla added 3.5 per cent ahead of its quarterly results after market close. Barbie maker Mattel jumped 9.3 per cent on winning back rights to make toys based on Disney Princesses from Hasbro. – Additional reporting: Reuters