European shares hit near two-month highs after energy rally

Market report: Iseq follows other European bourses higher, led by Ryanair and Smurfit Kappa

European shares on Friday hit their highest level in nearly two months

European shares on Friday hit their highest level in nearly two months

 

European shares on Friday hit their highest level in nearly two months as positive earnings, hopes of accommodative US monetary policies and higher oil and metal prices help fuel a global rally.

DUBLIN

The Iseq followed other European bourses higher on Friday albeit with low volumes traded and little in the way of corporate news.

The Dublin market was up 1.3 per cent to 5849.56 with Bank of Ireland, Smurfit Kappa, Ryanair among the high flyers.

Bank of Ireland capped off a good week, rising 2.75 per cent to €5.60, while AIB was down 0.5 per cent to €4.03. Smurfit Kappa rose 3.7 per cent to €25.14 while Ryanair gained 3.6 per cent to €11.00.

Other movers included CRH, up 2.9 per cent to €25.62, C&C, which rose 2 per cent to €3.30, and Dalata, up 3 per cent to €5.67. Paddy Power Betfair was weaker, closing down 1 per cent to €69.60 while Kerry Group fell 1.5 per cent to €89.20.

LONDON

British share indexes posted their first weekly losses of 2019 with the main bourse closing in the red for a fourth straight day, as Vodafone tumbled and a stronger pound weighed on exporter stocks.

The FTSE 100 gave up session gains to close 0.1 per cent lower, while the FTSE 250, which tends to gain from a stronger pound, rose 0.1 per cent.

Vodafone slid 5 percent, extending Thursday’s loss, after it said its key revenue measure deteriorated in the third quarter. The stock is down over 10 percent this year, underperforming the wider index, which is up 1.4 percent.

AG Barr, the maker of popular Scottish soft drink Irn-Bru, fell 4.5 per cent on the mid-caps index as it flagged prolonged economic uncertainty in Britain and regulatory intervention in the soft drinks industry. Smallcaps outperformed with a 0.5 per cent gain. Pub chain Fuller, Smith & Turner surged 15.5 per cent to its best day on record after agreeing to sell its beer business to a unit of Japan’s Asahi.

Shares in AIM-listed Earthport added nearly a third in value after US-based Mastercard topped rival Visa with a 33p per share buyout offer. Its shares rose 31.3 per cent to their highest in over three years.

EUROPE

Markets closed higher across Europe on Friday with telecoms among the few sectors to slip into the red after disappointing results from Vodafone and Nordic telecom group Telia.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended the day up 0.6 per cent near two-month highs, scored a fourth straight week of gain and was on course for its best month since October 2015.

Telia was down 4.6 per cent, at the bottom of the STOXX 600 after its weaker-than-expected results.

WALL STREET

US stocks surged in early trading on Friday, as upbeat earnings reports helped investors put aside growth worries, with hopes of a resolution to the lengthy US government shutdown fueling optimism.

With fourth-quarter earnings largely exceeding Wall Street expectations, the S&P 500 index was set to end a bumpy week, marked by concerns about slowing global growth and the government shutdown, on a high note.

Western Digital, whose quarterly results fell short of estimates, rose 5.13 per cent after the hard-disk drive maker said its revenue would improve in the second half of the year. Shares of rival Seagate Technology climbed 5.66 per cent. Intel fell 6.5 per cent after forecasting a dismal current quarter, blaming it on a slowdown in China and sluggish demand for its data centre and modem chips.

AbbVie fell 6.30 per cent after its quarterly profit missed estimates.

– Additional reporting Reuters