European stocks end at record high on robust earnings

Food delivery stocks fall on DoorDash-Wolt deal

European stocks closed at a record high on Wednesday following strong earnings from the media and energy sectors, while technology stocks fell as fears of increased competition weighed on popular online food delivery companies. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.2 per cent at 483.76 points.

British broadcaster ITV surged 15.1 per cent after it forecast record-high advertising revenue this year. Siemens spin-off Siemens Energy advanced 3.5 per cent after proposing a 10 cent per share dividend on strong free cash flow gains.


Glanbia fell 1.3 per cent to €13.80 after announcing plans to sell off its remaining stake in Glanbia Ireland, the group's dairy processing business. The move, if it goes ahead, will effectively end the Kilkenny-based food company's involvement in dairy processing in Ireland, the core business originally, and cement its focus on food ingredients and sports nutrition.

Permanent TSB shares rose 1 per cent to €1.57 after the lender agreed the sale of a loan portfolio of mainly non-performing mortgages with a gross value of €390 million to Wall Street banking giant Morgan Stanley, which plans to refinance the loan book on international bond markets next year.


Ryanair traded flat on the day while Paddy Power Betfair-parent Flutter Entertainment rose 1.2 per cent to €147.35. Kerry Group rose 1 per cent to €116.50


London’s FTSE 100 rose to its best session in nearly a month on Wednesday, aided by a weaker pound and gains in banks, while Marks & Spencer surged after the retailer beat first-half profit forecasts and upgraded its annual forecast.

The export-heavy FTSE 100 gained 0.9 per cent , with large dollar earners including Diageo, Unilever, British American Tobacco, Reckitt Benckiser boosted by a weaker pound and banks up 0.9 per cent. Marks & Spencer surged 16.5 per cent to its highest since January 2020, helping the domestically focussed FTSE 250 to advance 0.3 per cent, after the clothing and food group raised its full-year outlook for the second time this year.

Heavyweight drug maker AstraZeneca gained 1 per cent after it announced plans to create a separate division for vaccines and antibody therapies. Cycle retailer Halfords Group jumped 19.8 per cent after it raised its full-year earnings forecast as supply chain disruptions were beginning to ease.


Profits of companies listed on the Stoxx 600 are expected to jump 60.7 per cent in the third quarter to €104.4 billion from a year earlier, new Refinitiv data showed, a slight improvement from last week’s 57.2 per cent estimate. Bank stocks rose 0.5 per cent, tracking a rise in bond yields after data showed US inflation rose more than expected. Precious metal miners also gained as gold prices benefited from increased hedging against inflation.

Technology stocks were the biggest decliners for the day, losing 1.3 per cent.

Semiconductor maker Infineon slipped 1.2 per cent even after beating quarterly sales estimates, as investors fretted over a global chip shortage.

Online food delivery stocks HelloFresh and Just Eat slipped 0.4 per cent and 3.3 per cent, respectively, after US peer DoorDash said it would buy Finland-based rival Wolt Enterprises in a deal valued at about €7 billion. The overall personal & household goods sector fell 0.4 per cent, dragged down by a 3.7 per cent fall in Adidas after the German sportswear firm trimmed its 2021 forecasts due to sourcing disruptions and a challenging China market.


Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Wednesday as a surge in US consumer prices last month deepened fears that high inflation is here to stay amid supply chain snarls. The Labor Department’s report also showed that in the 12 months through October the consumer price index increased 6.2 per cent, the largest year-on-year advance since November 1990.

Mega-cap technology and communications companies including Apple, Microsoft, Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook, and Alphabet dropped between 1.2 per cent and 1.9 per cent.

Wall Street’s main indexes ended their long streak of record-closing highs on Tuesday as investors booked profits from the recent run-up in gains, especially in the absence of market-moving catalysts. – Additional reporting Reuters

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times