European shares rise with expectation of ECB assistance
Swiss-Irish food group Aryzta finishes day up 6.5 per cent and Volkswagon rallies
European Central Bank president Mario Draghi: the ECB is expected to make an interest rate announcement. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters
European shares rose on Monday, boosted by expectations of more help from the European Central Bank, which weakened the euro and helped carmakers.
US stocks were lower in early afternoon trading as health and consumer discretionary stocks declined and investors awaited key economic data including the November jobs report.
The London market ended lower, amid news of a Brazilian lawsuit for miner BHP Billiton and fresh reports that the owner of Holiday Inn hotels is being chased by three Chinese suitors.
The Iseq Index finished the day up 0.5 per cent, which was in line with the rest of Europe. In terms of other movers, Irish Life and Permanent traded up five per cent in the afternoon. The Dalata Hotel Group was up 4 per cent after strong close and a high of €5.15.
Kerry Group was also strong and finished up over two per cent. Smurfit Kappa also moved up two per cent.
Bank of Ireland was down 1.4 per cent, while CRH closed the day flat.
Biotech stocks took a beating with Gilead’s 2 per cent fall weighing the most on the S&P and Nasdaq. US stock indexes ended little changed in light volume on Friday, with consumer stocks falling as investors fretted over early reports on the US holiday shopping season and Disney’s subscriber losses.
Retail stocks continued to be in focus on Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year. Target shares were down 1.2 per cent at $72.56 after its website faced an outage due to heavy traffic. Other retailers’ website were also affected, including Foot Locker and Victoria’s Secret. The stocks were down about 1.6 per cent.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.4 per cent, close to three-months highs reached last week. The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also advanced 0.5 per cent.
German carmaker Volkswagen got a further boost when Germany’s transport minister voiced approval of VW’s plans to resolve issues related to its cheating on emissions tests. VW shares ended up 6.2 per cent.
Belgium financial services group Kleinwort Benson rose 13.1 per cent after French private bank Oddo launched a counter-bid for the company, challenging a lower offer from Chinese investor Fosun.
Aberdeen Asset Management dropped 4.6 per cent after the money manager reported quarterly outflows. Glencore rallied 5.3 per cent amid gains in Europe’s commodity producers, while InterContinental Hotels Group rose 2.7 per cent on bid speculation.
The FTSE 100 Index dropped 0.3 per cent at the close of trading in London, paring a loss of as much as 0.7 per cent amid volume about 10 per cent higher than the 30-day average. It’s slipped less than 0.1 per cent this month. The broader FTSE All-Share Index was little changed on Monday. – Additional reporting