European markets rise on good figures

Germany shows signs of returning to growth as Portugal completes bond sale

Markets in Ireland, Britain and Greece reopened yesterday following the bank holiday. Major indexes in Germany and the United States hit highs after data bolstered expectations that Germany has returned to growth, and a successful bond sale in Portugal indicated the country is on track to exit its bailout.

The Iseq index rose 0.9 per cent yesterday after reopening following the bank holiday. "There was an element of catch-up yesterday," one stockbroker noted. "We outperformed other markets yesterday in Europe and were up almost 1 per cent."

Smurfit Kappa continued its recovery and closed up at 1.77 per cent to €12 following a trading update on Friday. Buildings material group CRH , which has numbers out today, had a good day, closing up 1.84 per cent to €16.93.

C&C was under pressure as Goodbody's downgraded it, closing down 1.69 per cent to €4.65. Other strong performers on the day included Glanbia , Kenmare and Paddy Power .


Industrial holdings group DCC left the Irish exchange on Friday and enjoyed a good first day on the London listing.

"Volume outside the main players was a bit scrappy but that is to be expected after a bank holiday but the positive tone for the markets continued," the stockbroker added.
UK stocks rose, with the FTSE 100 Index reaching its highest level in more than five years, as commodity producers advanced and Britain's equity markets reopened following the bank holiday.

HSBC Holdings gained 3 per cent after Europe's largest bank said first-quarter profit almost doubled. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto climbed more than 1.5 per cent, dragging UK mining companies higher.

G4S plunged 15 per cent as the security provider predicted that operating margin would continue to narrow this year after dropping in the first quarter.

The FTSE 100 added 0.6 per cent to its highest level since December 2007. The equity benchmark completed an 11- month rally in April, its longest stretch of gains since the index started in 1984.
European stocks climbed, extending a near five-year high for the region's benchmark gauge, as financial companies from HSBC Holdings to Allianz reported results that topped analysts' estimates.

HSBC , Europe's biggest bank, Soci été G én érale , France's second-largest lender, and Germany's Commerzbank each climbed at least 2.6 per cent after posting results.

Allianz gained 3.6 per cent after Europe's largest insurer reported a jump in profit.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3 per cent to 301.74. The gauge has climbed 7.9 per cent this year to its highest level since June 2008 as central banks maintained stimulus measures.

National benchmark indexes climbed in 16 out of 18 western European markets yesterday. France's Cac 40 added 0.4 per cent, Germany's Dax increased 0.9 per cent. Major stock indexes in Germany hit new highs yesterday after data boosted hopes that Germany had returned to growth and after a successful bond sale in Portugal.
US stocks rose, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 15,000 for the second time in a week, on optimism over global central bank stimulus and better than estimated earnings from DirecTV and Fossil. Nine out of 10 groups in the Standard and Poor's 500 Index rose.

DirecTV gained 6.3 per cent after adding more subscribers than analysts projected. Fossil advanced 8.8 per cent after profit beat estimates and the company lifted its forecast for the year.

EOG Resources jumped 8.1 percent after seeing higher growth rates for crude oil. First Solar plunged 8.8 percent after earnings fell short of estimates. Apple shares fell 0.7 per cent to $457.46. – (Additional reports: Bloomberg/Reuters)