European shares rise on recovery hopes with Iseq outperforming peers

Investors in high spirits in Dublin with market closing up 2.5% to 7301.45

European shares rose on Tuesday on hopes of a faster economic recovery, with some upbeat economic growth data and an encouraging outlook for big names such as Airbus and LVMH putting a pan-regional index on course to erase last week's hefty losses.


Investors were in high spirits on Tuesday with the Iseq index outperforming peers to close up 2.5 per cent at 7301.45. The board was a sea of green, with most stocks gaining despite little in the way of real news. Banks were among the risers, with Bank of Ireland up 5.9 per cent and AIB 6.5 per cent ahead.

Index heavyweight CRH rose 2.7 per cent with fellow construction stock Kingspan up 0.6 per cent.

Ryanair outperformed its peers in the aviation sector, up 4 per cent. Other gainers included Flutter, up 3 per cent, Kerry Group, which rose 2.6 per cent and Smurfit Kappa, closing up 1.7 per cent.



London shares rose following optimism about economic stimulus and a faster global recovery, though oil major BP dropped after reporting weak earnings.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 0.8 per cent, with financial stocks – mainly HSBC Holdings and Barclays – leading the gains. The mid-cap index added 1.5 per cent.

BP fell 4.5 per cent to the bottom of the FTSE 100 as its profit in the last quarter of 2020 sunk to $115 million on weak energy demand.

Ireland’s DCC closed 1 per cent higher after reporting operating profit that was ahead of forecasts.

Lender Virgin Money gained 7.7 per cent as it reported a modest increase in the number of customers and provided a further £726 million to protect its balance sheet.


Europe’s STOXX 600 index closed higher for a second straight session, up 1.3 per cent on broad-based gains after losing over 3 per cent last week on concerns around the slow rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in the euro zone.

Luxury brand owners LVMH and Gucci parent, Kering, jumped 3.4 per cent and 1 per cent respectively after brokerage Berenberg recommended the stocks, noting long-term structural drivers of demand for luxury products remain intact.

Planemaker Airbus rose after a Morgan Stanley upgrade on overlooked production increases.

Fresenius Medical Care tumbled 10.3 per cent after the world's leading kidney dialysis firm warned its adjusted net profit was likely to drop this year.


US stock indices jumped more than 1.5 per cent in early trading on Tuesday with Amazon and Google-parent Alphabet set to wrap up results from the so-called FAANG group of stocks. Signs on progress on a large fiscal pandemic relief package also lifted the mood.

Alphabet, which was due to report the cost and operating profit of its Google Cloud business for the first time, added 1.5 per cent, while retail behemoth rose 1.4 per cent.

All major groups in the S&P 500 advanced, with financial and retail companies leading gains on Tuesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed about 2 per cent.

United Parcel Service rose as the courier reported a surge in profit, and Exxon Mobil jumped on a pledge to safeguard dividends following its first annual loss in at least 40 years.

Meanwhile, the speculative trades popular with Reddit crowds crumbled, with GameStop and AMC Entertainment tumbling at least 40 per cent while silver sank from an eight-year high.

Electronic Arts shares gained the most in almost two weeks after the company announced plans to bring back its college-football video game, a fan favourite that disappeared in 2014. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist