Investors monitor global conflicts as European stocks climb
US prices rise on speculation that interest rates are unlikely to increase in near future
In Europe, stocks rose to their highest levels in a week, although Ireland lagged slightly behind the trend
A global gauge of stock markets rose as investors were cautiously optimistic about a possible de-escalation of the conflict in the Russia-Ukraine border, while Brazilian markets were shaken by the death of presidential candidate Eduardo Campos in a plane crash.
In Europe, stocks rose to their highest levels in a week, although Ireland lagged slightly behind the trend. In the US, where investors continued to monitor global tensions, prices rose amid speculation that interest rates are unlikely to climb in the near future.
The Iseq closed up 0.5 per cent but was a relative underperformer on European indexes.
The main mover of the day was CRH which closed up 1 per cent on news that it had retained JP Morgan to sell off one of its assets in Turkey as part of a wider initiative to streamline operations. C&C finished relatively weakly, closing down just over 1 per cent at €4.26 on the back of poor cider numbers from the US earlier in the week.
Kingspan dropped by over 2 per cent, although not on huge volumes, after trading much higher earlier in the day. Kerry finished up 1 per cent, bouncing off recent lows and closing with a decent volume. INM fell 3.5 per cent to €0.13.
Fyffes, after appearing to level off on Tuesday following Monday’s news that its merger with Chiquita was unlikely to go ahead, fell a further 2 per cent at the close, trading at €0.90.
UK stocks rose, helped by an increase in utilities, after governor Mark Carney pledged that Bank of England officials won’t rush to raise interest rates.
The FTSE 100 Index gained 24.26 points, or 0.4 per cent, to close at 6,656.68 in London. The benchmark gauge has fallen 3.2 per cent from a June 9th high amid crises in Ukraine, Iraq and the Gaza Strip. The broader FTSE All-Share Index rose 0.4 per cent.
In yesterday’s inflation report, the Bank of England lowered its forecast for wage growth and said it will put more weight on earnings in its policy assessment.
Severn Trent climbed 1.7 per cent to 1,926 pence, and United Utilities gained 1.4 per cent to reach 858.5 pence.
Admiral Group lost 5.5 per cent to finish at 1,371 pence. The owner of the confused.com price-comparison website said turnover, which includes total insurance premiums written and other revenue, fell 5 per cent to £1.04 billion in the six months through June.
European stocks rose to their highest level in a week. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.4 per cent to 330.02 at the close of trading. The benchmark has still fallen 5.6 per cent from a six-year high.
Germany’s Dax dropped 10 per cent from its record through the end of last week.
RWE, which reports first- half earnings today, climbed 3.1 per cent to €29.31. Italy’s Enel advanced 1.6 per cent to €3.90. EDP-Energias de Portugal increased 3.4 per cent to €3.30, making the biggest contribution to a 1.9 per cent rally by the PSI 20 Index.
Swiss Life jumped 7.1 per cent to 226 Swiss francs. The life insurer said net income rose to 484 million francs in the first half from 472 million francs a year earlier. Merck KGaA added 3.2 per cent to €64.37 after the drug maker’s acquisition of AZ Electronic Materials helped second-quarter earnings beat estimates.
US stocks rose with Treasuries as a slowdown in retail sales spurred speculation the Federal Reserve won’t be in a hurry to raise interest rates.
Emerging markets rallied on bets China will take steps to support growth. The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.7 per cent by lunchtime in New York, recovering from Tuesday’s 0.2 per cent decline.
Amazon climbed 2.6 per cent after Channel Advisor said the retailer’s same-store sales rose 40 per cent in July. FleetCor Technologies rose 9.5 per cent after it agreed to acquire Comdata for $3.45 billion. – (Additional reporting, Bloomberg, Reuters)