European stocks rise as markets shake off early losses
Wall Street also trades higher as tech companies advance
Key stocks CRH and Ryanair swung into positive territory in Dublin, with the cement-maker finishing up 1.1% at €27.68
European stocks recovered from a sluggish start to make gains on Wednesday, amid relatively upbeat quarterly earnings reports and hopes of a recovery from the coronavirus-fuelled slump.
The Iseq index recovered its early losses to post a 1.25 per cent gain as market sentiment improved over the course of the session. Key stocks CRH and Ryanair both swung into positive territory, with the cement-maker finishing up 1.1 per cent at €27.68 and the airline rising by the same percentage, closing at €10.17.
Cairn Homes advanced 3.9 per cent to just under 83 cent, while Glenveagh Properties rose 1.8 per cent to 62 cent. Bank of Ireland was another climber, adding 4.75 per cent to €1.63, while paper and packaging company Smurfit Kappa rose 2.1 per cent to €29.36.
However, Dalata Hotel Group slid 2.6 per cent to €2.95, while bakery company Aryzta fell 4.3 per cent to 36 cent.
The FTSE 100 index rose 1.1 per cent, rebounding from an early fall partly thanks to solid quarterly results from data firm Experian, while investors remained hopeful of a recovery after the looming coronavirus-induced recession.
Experian, the world’s biggest credit data company, jumped 7.4 per cent to a more-than-10-week high after it reported higher annual revenue.
The mid-cap FTSE 250 added 0.3 per cent, extending its rally to a fourth day.
Rolls-Royce rose 2.3 per cent after the company said it plans to cut at least 9,000 jobs, or more than a sixth of its workforce.
UK homebuilder Vistry Group shed 4 per cent on forecasting more job cuts as it consolidates the operations of Bovis Homes and construction company Galliford Try’s residential units.
Playtech surged 6 per cent after posting a jump in first-quarter profit as its financial trading division benefited from increased market volatility and trading volumes.
Marks & Spencer jumped 10.8 per cent as the retailer said it would accelerate its latest turnaround programme after reporting a 21 per cent fall in annual profit.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 1 per cent as markets shook off early losses. In Germany, the Dax rose 1.3 per cent, while the French Cac 40 nudged up 0.4 per cent. Italian and Spanish stocks added more than 1 per cent.
The euro headed for its fourth straight advance versus the dollar as progress was made on a €500 billion fiscal stimulus plan by the European Union, although critics say the package may be too little, too late to counter the devastating effect of Covid-19 on the region’s economies.
Deutsche Bank gained 4.1 per cent as its chief executive Christian Sewing said the bank needed to become more profitable before taking a leading role in European banking consolidation, but dismissed concerns it would need state aid as it handles the fallout from the coronavirus crisis. Rival lender Commerzbank added 3.1 per cent.
Wall Street’s main indexes surged to 10-week highs, with the Nasdaq hitting its highest level in three months as investors clung to hopes of a recovery from a coronavirus-fuelled slump amid signs of more stimulus for ailing sectors.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq was boosted by Facebook and Amazon. com, which were trading at record levels, as well as gains for Apple.
Gains were broad-based with the cyclical sectors including industrials, energy and materials posting their biggest percentage gains on hopes of a pick-up in demand.
Home improvement chain Lowe’s rose 0.5 per cent after posting higher quarterly same-store sales.
Analog Devices gained 8.4 per cent after the chipmaker forecast third-quarter profit ahead of expectations.
Target slipped 1.7 per cent after the big box retailer reported a 64 per cent plunge in quarterly profit, pummelled by costs to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. – Additional reporting: Reuters /Bloomberg