FTSE 100 closes strongly as European markets make minor gains

Dublin marginally down with Permanent TSB and Dalata the leading performers

Sterling slid towards a three-decade low against the dollar on Monday following Theresa May’s comments on Brexit over the weekend. Photograph: Getty Images

European stock markets made minor gains on Monday as a rise in the shares of fund management companies in the wake of a large merger in the sector propped up markets.

UK shares climbed the most among western European markets after British prime minister Theresa May pledged to begin the process of exiting the European Union in the first quarter of 2017.

DUBLIN

The Dublin market had a subdued start to the week, ending closing down 0.04 per cent or 2.12 points to 6,032.71.

Permanent TSB was the main mover of the day, closing up 5.4 per cent to €2.16 following a positive stock upgrade from Davy. The stockbroker revised its rating to "outperform" on the likelihood that PTSB's non-core UK book will now be disposed of within the next year versus Davy's previous mid-2018 assumption. Bank of Ireland was down 1 per cent to 18.4 cents.

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News that Dalata has agreed to lease the capital’s largest city hotel, the former Burlington, continued to play well with investors. Shares in the hotel group closed up 2.4 per cent to €4.20, having risen by nearly 4 per cent to €4.10 on Friday when the announcement was made.

Iseq heavyweight CRH was down 0.7 per cent to €29.54 after indicators showed US highway contracts awards rose in August.

Other movers in Dublin on Monday included Total Produce, down 2.2 per cent to €1.61 and forecourt operator Applegreen, up 3.6 per cent to €4.60.

LONDON

Sterling slid towards a three-decade low against the dollar on Monday following Ms May’s comments on Brexit over the weekend.

For now, sterling’s weakness has helped British exports and the economy. Data released on Monday showed factory activity grew at the fastest rate in more than two years last month and suggested manufacturing growth in the third quarter will be the strongest so far this year.

The positive impact from sterling’s weakness and the good news from the manufacturing sector helped Britain’s blue chip FTSE 100 index reach its highest level since June 2015. The FTSE 250 Index of midcaps added 1.8 per cent.

Britain's "megacaps" rose to their highest level in more than 16 months as a weaker pound boosted exporters with HSBC, Royal Dutch Shell, GlaxoSmithKline and British American Tobacco all advancing at least 1 per cent.

Henderson surged 17 per cent after agreeing to buy Janus Capital to create a $320 billion money manager.

EUROPE

Lingering concerns over Deutsche Bank still weighed on the minds of investors on Monday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended up 0.1 per cent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index slipped 0.05 per cent at 1,349.93.

The worry over Deutsche hit other banking stocks with Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit both down about 2 per cent.

Shares in Temenos, a Swiss firm which sells software for financial services, soared 10 per cent to a record high after the company said it had received an order from a major European bank.

NEW YORK

Wall Street slipped on the first trading day of the fourth quarter, dragged down by financial and technology stocks.

The S&P 500 financial index declined 0.6 per cent as Wells Fargo fell to a near three-year low of $43.73. The technology index was off 0.54 per cent as Microsoft and Apple slipped.

Netflix rose to its highest since May as investors speculated the online video service could be a takeover target ahead of quarterly earnings scheduled for release in two weeks. Shares of the world's largest paid online TV network rose as much as 4.9 per cent to $103.39 in New York, their highest since May 31st.

Tesla shares were 4.5 per cent higher at $213.17 after the electric carmaker said third-quarter deliveries rose by 70 per cent to 24,500 cars.

Additional reporting: agencies

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist