European shares hit seven-week high on strong company results

Bank of Ireland, Ryanair, Smurfit Kappa and C&C among traders in Dublin market

European shares climbed to a seven-week high on Thursday as companies turned in positive earnings data, while oil prices surged more than 3 per cent on buying triggered by comments from an Saudi oil minister and a forecast that crude markets are set to tighten.

Major US stock indexes gained, climbing back near their all-time records. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 stock index climbed 0.5 per cent, its sixth day of gains in the past seven.

With bond yields low in developed economies as central banks maintain accommodative monetary policies, investors have sought out equities for yield.



The Iseq enjoyed an 80-point bounce to close at 5,989, tracking movements elsewhere. Bank of Ireland regained some of the lost ground in the previous session, rising 2. 6 per cent to €0.195.

Buoyed by rising oil prices, Providence Resources saw its shares jump 12. 5 per cent to 13.5 cent.

Iseq heavyweight Ryanair rose 1.7 per cent to €12.03 after an up and down week.

Packaging group Smurfit Kappa also tracked trends eleswhere, rising 2.4 per cent to €21.51.

Food group Kerry had a better day, closing up 1.7 per cent at €78.29 after it was knocked back by negative food sector sentiment earlier in the week.

Drinks group C&C also rode the positive momentum, rising 1.7 per cent to €3.75.


Britain's top share index rose to post its sixth straight day of gains, with the market lifted to a 14-month high by energy companies and Coca Cola HBC. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up 0.7 per cent to 6,914.71 points, its highest level since June 2015.

Drinks bottler Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) was the best-performing FTSE 100 stock, up 7 per cent after reporting higher interim profits. Shares in oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell also climbed as oil prices edged higher.

Housebuilders fell after the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said British housing market activity ebbed in the month following the country's shock Brexit vote to leave the EU. Shares in housebuilders Berkeley Group, Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments all lost ground.


European shares hit a two-month closing high, with companies such as scents and flavours maker Symrise and consumer group Henkel hitting record highs after strong results and encouraging updates.

Henkel rose 5 per cent as its results beat expectations and it lifted its guidance for its core profit margin. It was the top riser in Germany’s Dax, which gained 0.9 per cent. Symrise shares rose 5.5 per cent after first-half sales surged 16 per cent to €1.46 billion and the company said it was aiming to outperform the global flavour and fragrance market again in 2016.

Belgian financial group KBC rose 5.2 per cent after reporting a year-on-year rise in net profit in the second quarter as loan and deposit volumes grew in most of its core markets and it kept costs low.


The Dow touched a record intraday high on Thursday afternoon as strong results from department store chains and a surge in oil prices buoyed investor sentiment about economic growth. Oil prices jumped 5 per cent on comments from the Saudi oil minister about possible action to stabilise prices and the International Energy Agency’s forecast that crude markets would rebalance in the next few months.

The S&P energy index jumped 1.68 per cent, making it the top gainer among the 10 major sectors of the benchmark, led by gains in Exxon and Chevron.

Strong earnings from Macy’s and Kohl’s kicked off the two-day department store chains’ earnings on an optimistic note. Macy’s shares soared as much as 18 per cent, marking the best day for the department store operator in nearly eight years, after it reported a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly comparable-store sales and said it would close 100 stores. Kohl’s shares rose 15 per cent after its quarterly profit beat estimates.

Yahoo, which owns a stake in Alibaba, rose 3.8 per cent. Valeant dropped 10 per cent after the Wall Street Journal reported that US federal prosecutors had opened a criminal investigation on the drugmaker.

Additional reporting Reuter/Bloomberg

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times