Global markets cap fifth week of gains

Shares in Aryzta rise for the first time in week, climbing 2 per cent to €33.80 in Dublin

Ryanair closing up nearly 3 per cent at €13.60, which was roughly in line with its European rivals. Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

Ryanair closing up nearly 3 per cent at €13.60, which was roughly in line with its European rivals. Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images


World equity markets capped a fifth week of gains yesterday, their best run in more than two years, as a 2016 high for oil, the dollar’s recent decline and a more optimistic view of the economy combined to boost investor confidence.

Stocks in Europe gained and Wall Street rose for a third day as the dollar steadied after a third week of declines that took it to its lowest level against other major currencies since October.

The dollar had weakened earlier in the week after the US Federal Reserve scaled back its forecasts for rate increases.

DUBLIN The Iseq closed up 0.8 per cent at 6,192 tracking similar trends elsewhere. Shares in Aryzta rose for the first time in a week, climbing 2 per cent to €33.80. However, this was small beer compared with the near 25 per cent collapse earlier in the week on the back of missed earnings targets and chief executive Owen Killian’s surprise move to sell two-thirds of his own stock in the Swiss-Irish food group.

Drinks group C&C dropped 3.4 per cent to €3.88 after hitting €4 on Thursday for the first time in a year. “The run had come to an end and everyone rushed for the door at the same time,” one trader said. Slightly weaker oil prices late on helped airline stocks with Ryanair closing up nearly 3 per cent at €13.60, which was roughly in line with its European rivals.

Property firm Hibernia Reit, meanwhile, finished up 4 per cent €1.36 largely as a result of the reweighting of UK funds.

Hotel group Dalata rose 1.6 per cent to €4.36 following the acquisition of the Clarion Sligo. Insulation group Kingspan was up 2.5 per cent at €22.42.

LONDON Britain’s top share index steadied at the close, consolidating a week in which shares have closed in on their 2016 highs, although commodity stocks paused after a strong run.

The FTSE 100 index finished 0.19 percent lower at 6,189.64 points after hitting an intra-day high of 6,237.02, not far from its 2016 high of 6,242.32. The benchmark index managed to rise 0.8 per cent this week after slipping in the previous week.

Among individual movers, Berkeley Group fell 2.2 per cent after London’s biggest homebuilder reported a drop in reservations, even as it forecast the year’s results to reach the top end of expectations.

Some traders said that after a 10 per cent rally in a little over a week leading up to the statement, there were a lack of catalysts to buy the stock, especially given changes to stamp duty that are coming into force next month.

Home Retail tumbled 9.9 per cent after Steinhoff International Holdings said it wouldn’t make an offer for the retailer.

EUROPE European stocks advanced with mining companies amid investor confidence that central-bank willingness to support global growth will bear fruit. Daimler and Volkswagen pushed carmakers higher as a weaker euro boosted earnings prospects. Standard Chartered led a measure of banks to its first daily advance since Monday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3 per cent to 341.71 at the close of trading.

The equity gauge rebounded as much as 14 per cent since a February 11th low amid a rally in banks and miners, and central-bank steps to spur growth.

Among stocks moving on corporate news, Salvatore Ferragamo added 3.1 per cent after the Italian luxury-shoe maker posted better-than-expected full-year earnings.

NEW YORK The S&P500 edged into positive territory for 2016 as gains in healthcare and financial stocks added to a rally spurred by the Fed’s tempered view on interest rates and rising oil prices. The Dow Jones industrial average extended gains for 2016, helped by a 2.7 per cent increase in Goldman Sachs.

Shares of Adobe were up 4.2 per cent at $93.70 after the Photoshop maker raised its full-year profit and revenue forecasts above expectations. – (Reuters/Bloomberg)