European stocks rise on stronger profit forecasts

Smurfit Kappa climbs 3% to €25.89 ahead of publication of its interim results

European stocks gained for the first time in four days as companies including BP and Rolls-Royce Holdings reported better-than-forecast profit and data signalled a robust euro zone economy.

Corporate earnings reports spurred brisk trading ahead of a what is usually a sleepy summer period for markets.


The Iseq index closed up 0.6 per cent as most of its largest stocks advanced. Ryanair closed up 1.8 per cent at €18.08, while building materials group CRH, the largest stock on the Dublin market, edged up 0.4 per cent to €29.82.

Paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa climbed 3 per cent to €25.89 ahead of the publication of its interim results on Wednesday morning.


Paddy Power Betfair, which has lost ground of late, added 1.7 per cent to finish at €86.10. The bookmaker publishes interim earnings next Tuesday.

Drinks group C&C added 1 per cent to close at €3.07, while Irish Continental Group, Independent News & Media, Kingspan and Permanent TSB were among the fallers.

LONDON Britain’s leading shares made strong gains on Tuesday, supported by a raft of strong results, while a recovery in cigarette makers British American Tobacco and Imperial removed what had been a drag on the benchmark index.

The FTSE 100 jumped 0.7 per cent, starting the month on a firm footing, while mid-caps rose 0.4 per cent.

Shares in engine maker Rolls Royce rocketed up 10.2 per cent, their best day in a year, after a solid first half which saw profits rise more than expected as it delivered a 27 per cent increase in large civil aerospace engines.

Shares in BP jumped 2.4 per cent after the firm beat profit expectations for the second quarter.

Tobacco stocks BAT and Imperial Brands rose 2.5 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively after sharp losses in the two previous sessions as investors digested a US regulatory clampdown on the amount of nicotine in cigarette products.

Earnings from Centrica sent the stock up 2.3 per cent as Britain's largest energy supplier announced an increase to its electricity prices despite losing another 485,000 customers since May.

Roadside recovery and motor insurance company AA fell 13 per cent to a record low, weighing on mid-caps, after executive chairman Bob Mackenzie was fired for gross misconduct. The firm also lowered its full-year forecasts.

EUROPE The pan-European STOXX 600 index, nursing two straight months of losses, rose 0.6 per cent. Blue chips closed 0.9 per cent higher, their best one-day gains in three weeks. Germany’s DAX advanced 1.1 per cent, while the French Cac 40 rose 0.7 per cent.

Dutch speciality chemicals company DSM traded up 5.6 per cent after it raised its profit forecast for 2017 on Tuesday after higher sales and tighter cost controls helped it report a better than expected 15 per cent rise in second-quarter earnings.


The Dow

racked up a fifth straight record high yesterda and neared the 22,000 mark, powered by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and other banks.

Apple rose 0.89 per cent as Wall Street awaited the largest publicly listed company's quarterly report after the bell, with the iPhone maker expected by analysts to post a 6 per cent rise in revenue – the actual rise was 7.2 per cent. The S&P 500 information technology index is up 22 per cent year to date, leading other sectors.

The Dow rose 0.33 per cent to a record-high close of 21,963.92. It pierced through the 20,000 milestone in January and the 21,000 mark barely one and a half months later. The S&P 500 gained 0.24 per cent to 2,476.35 and the Nasdaq added 0.23 per cent to 6,362.94.

– (Additional reporting: Bloomberg/ Reuters)