Iseq boosted by CRH sale of distribution business
Market report: Strong day for European shares but US indexes under pressure
Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
While the Irish index outperformed broader European markets, it was a strong day too for London’s main index, which rose as Burberry scaled an 11-month high after a strong first quarter update.
US indices edged lower as results from Wall Street’s big lenders rekindled concerns about banking coming under pressure to boost profits when the Federal Reserve is seen cutting interest rates as early as this month.
Building materials giant CRH closed 2.34 per cent higher on the back of the sale of its European distribution business as part of an overhaul to generate cash for acquisitions. Shares in the index heavyweight closed at €30.20 on the day after it announced that Blackstone will buy the division in a deal valued at €1.64 billion.
Elsewhere, Ryanair closed up 2.22 per cent at €10.38 despite falling in the earlier part of the day. The budget airline cut forecasts for growth in passengers next summer and confirmed it was looking at base cuts and closures as a result of delays in the delivery of new Boeing 737 Max aircraft. However, shares rose on the belief that lower capacity would translate into higher fares, improving profitability for the company.
News of the Central Bank’s final report into the tracker mortgage scandal did little to dent financials on the day with AIB rising by 0.72 per cent to €3.66. Bank of Ireland shares took a slight hit, falling 0.3 per cent to €4.59.
There was some trading in the Reit space on the day although I-res Reit, which was upgraded by Davy in the morning, fell 0.57 per cent to €1.73.
The FTSE 100 added 0.6 per cent, its best day in nearly two weeks. Luxury brand Burberry jumped more than 15 per cent on its best day ever, after it posted a stronger-than-expected rise in first-quarter comparable-store sales and affirmed its annual forecast.
Luxury automaker Aston Martin advanced 7.6 per cent after a rating upgrade from Jefferies and a bullish view from Goldman Sachs.
Tour operator Thomas Cook, whose shares lost more than half their value last week, recovered 11 per cent. This came down to speculation that its proposed rescue deal with Fosun Tourism , which would significantly dilute the stakes of other shareholders, may not go through.
Mid-cap AGBarr lost more than a quarter of its value on its worst day ever, after the Irn-Bru maker warned that its annual profit would sink 20 per cent compared with last year. Fellow soft-drink makers Fevertree, Britvic and Nichols fell between 1.3 per cent and 3.6 per cent.
Upscale retailers in Europe, including Hermes, Louis Vuitton owner LVMH and Gucci parent Kering, rose between 0.4 per cent and 2 per cent on the back of Burberry’s strong update, helping France’s CAC 40 index gain 0.65 per cent. The pan-European Stoxx 600, meanwhile, climbed 0.35 per cent.
Shares of European banks rose 0.7 per cent after major US results from major US lenders.
Norway’s Yara, among the world’s largest fertiliser makers, rose 4.2 per cent after its quarterly earnings beat estimates.
JPMorgan and Wells Fargo beat quarterly profit estimates but reported weaker net interest income, pointing to rising deposit costs.
The banking subsector fell 0.19 per cent, compared to a marginal gain in the S&P 500 financial index. JP Morgan was marginally higher, while Goldman Sachs rose 1.2 per cent.
JB Hunt Transport Services jumped 7.1 per cent, the biggest gainer on the benchmark S&P 500, after the transport and logistics provider posted strong quarterly performance in its second biggest unit DCS.
Johnson & Johnson fell 1.4 per cent after the diversified healthcare company warned that competition from generic and copycat drugs could impact its third-quarter results.
– Additional reporting: Reuters