European shares gain as car makers lift German Dax to record high

Sluggish performance in Dublin with banks, Dalata and Smurfit Kappa among gainers

Volkswagen jumped 6 per cent on Thursday, sealing its position as the most valuable company in Germany’s Dax.

Volkswagen jumped 6 per cent on Thursday, sealing its position as the most valuable company in Germany’s Dax.

 

European stocks inched towards all-time highs after the US Federal Reserve vowed to keep interest rates low despite forecasting a surge in economic growth. Car makers lifted the German Dax share index to a record high.

Dublin

Unlike the fast-moving Dax, the Iseq put in a sluggish performance on Thursday with low volumes all round. The Dublin market closed up 0.6 per cent to 8096.64.

Financial institutions were in focus in London and other European markets and the two Irish pillar banks gained from the positive sentiment. Bank of Ireland rose 2.7 per cent to €4.14 while AIB was up 1 per cent to €2.18.

Dalata continued its recovery, rising 2 per cent on Thursday to €4.42. Flutter was also in favour, rising 1.3 per cent to €196.7.

Index heavyweight CRH rose 1 per cent to €38.87, while Smurfit Kappa was up 2.4 per cent to €39.88, getting a bounce from strong performance from rivals DS Smith and Mondi.

London

After falling as much as 0.31 per cent, the blue-chip FTSE 100 index turned upwards, eventually ending 0.3 per cent higher.

Bank stocks including HSBC, Standard Chartered and Barclays were the top boosts to the index as US treasury yields hit 14-month highs on dovish statements from the Federal Reserve.

Heavyweight mining stocks including Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Anglo American gained on higher base metal prices.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index ended flat, with gains in industrials and financials offset by losses in real estate.

Gambling group 888 Holdings rose 4.5 per cent after posting higher annual adjusted core earnings and signalling strong momentum in 2021 so far, as more people shifted to online betting during coronavirus restrictions.

Drinks maker Fever-Tree fell 12.3 per cent, despite a better 2021 revenue forecast with at-home drinking catching on and sales at lockdown-hit bars and restaurants expected to gradually gain momentum.

Europe

Germany’s blue-chip Dax rose 1.2 per cent, France’s CAC 40 was up 0.1 per cent and the pan-European Stoxx 600 increased 0.4 per cent on Thursday, with the latter easing from early highs due to losses in utilities, chemicals and food and beverage stocks,

Volkswagen jumped 6 per cent, sealing its position as the most valuable company in Germany’s Dax after it overtook software maker SAP on Wednesday. Its shares have racked up a 41.8 per cent gain so far this week and are on course to record the biggest weekly gain ever after it stepped up its switch to fully-electric vehicles.

Swiss lender Credit Suisse gained 2.5 per cent after it said it was overhauling its asset-management business amid regulatory investigations into its dealings with collapsed Greensill Capital.

Telecoms equipment maker Nokia slipped 5.7 per cent despite forecasting a pick-up in profit margins to between 10 per cent and 13 per cent in 2023.

Swiss online pharmacy chain Zur Rose fell 12.6 per cent after disappointing full-year results and outlook.

US

The S&P 500 eased from a record high on Thursday, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq shed more than 1 per cent as a spike in US bond yields accelerated a move out of pandemic-winner tech stocks and into economy-linked financials and industrials.

High-growth companies including Apple, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon. com and Microsoft dropped between 1.3 per cent and 2.2 per cent.

Accenture jumped about 1.5 per cent after it raised its full-year revenue forecast and reported second-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates, as more businesses used its digital services to shift operations to the cloud.

Dollar General dropped 6 per cent after the company forecast annual same-store sales and profit below estimates, indicating the pandemic-fuelled rush for lower-priced groceries was waning more quickly than expected.

AMC Entertainment rose 1.5 per cent after the movie theatre operator said it would have 98 per cent of its US locations open from Friday. – Additional reporting: Reuters