European shares rise ahead of ECB meeting
Kingspan most notable gainer in Dublin while Permanent TSB slips 7 per cent
Permanent TSB was weighed down by exceptionals in its full-year figures, and slipped 7.28 per cent to €2.80. Photograph: Alan Betson
European shares advanced for the first day in three as investors speculated on further stimulus from the European Central Bank when it meets on Thursday.
Building materials group Kingspan was the most notable gainer on the day, adding over a euro, or 4.98 per cent, to finish on €22.225.
Other notable risers on the day were Green Reit, which saw healthy interest as it edged 0.29 per cent higher to €1.364.
On the downside, Permanent TSB was weighed down by exceptionals in its full-year figures, and slipped 7.28 per cent to €2.80. Penny stock Kenmare fared even worse in percentage terms, shedding 23 per cent.
Ryanair’s corporate jet proposal did little for sentiment, with the stock down 1.5 per cent on €13.46.
Prudential rose 2.9 per cent, the top FTSE 100 riser, after its profit was lifted by strong performances at its British, US and Asian life businesses.
Britain’s FTSE 100 index was up 0.3 per cent at 6,146.32 points at its close. Mining company Glencore recovered some of the previous session’s heavy losses to trade up 2.5 per cent.
Mid-caps underperformed blue chips, with the FTSE 250 index down 0.4 per cent, hit by disappointing updates from Restaurant Group, down 22.7 per cent on the day, and G4S, which dropped 12.1 per cent. Among risers, Cairn Energy rose 13.3 per cent.
The FTSEurofirst remains down by around 7 per cent since the start of 2016, with stock markets having been hit by signs of a slowdown in China, the world’s second-biggest economy, weaker euro zone data and concerns over Europe’s banking sector.
Mediaset led gains Wednesday among media-related companies. BMW fell 1.9 per cent after predicting only a slight increase in deliveries, and not offering a special dividend as it celebrates its 100th anniversary. Royal Boskalis Westminster lost 17 per cent after the shipping company said net profit will be substantially lower in 2016.
Energy companies led gains, as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed off its lows for the session on the seventh anniversary of the bull market, the third longest on record. The index climbed 0.3 per cent at 1:06pm in New York.
Chevron was up 5.7 per cent at $93.86 and gave the biggest boost to the sector. Biotechs came under pressure after the US government proposed a test program aimed at lowering Medicare drug costs. The Nasdaq Biotechnology sector was down 1.6 per cent. Amgen’s 2.3 per cent decline was the biggest drag on the Nasdaq and the S&P 500. Regeneron was down 4.2 per cent and Celgene fell 2.6 per cent.
– (Additional reporting Reuters/ Bloomberg)