Stocks rally over positive US data


GLOBAL EQUITY markets rallied yesterday, as US private-sector employment data showed its largest increase in eight months and UK companies report better than expected earnings.


THERE WAS “a bit of buying around” in the Irish market yesterday, with the Iseq finishing the first day of the month up by 33 points or 1 per cent at 3,282.20.

While volumes were still “patchy”, there are signs of more activity in the market ahead of next week when a number of companies are set to report.

While Bank of Ireland’s chief executive Richie Boucher was appearing before the Oireachtas Committee, there was money around for the stock, which advanced by 5.5 per cent to finish up at € 0.10.

CRH was also strong, amid expectation that it could benefit from reconstruction in the US due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. It added 2 per cent, or 29 cent to end the day up at € 14.65.

Ryanair also went a little better yesterday, according to brokers. It added 1.4 per cent, or 6 cent, to advance to €4.53.

Drinks group CC, which has been an “underperformer” of late, found some support yesterday, adding 0.7 per cent, or 3 cent, to climb to €3.72.

Grafton Group finished the day up by 2.3 per cent, or 8 cent at €3.45, although brokers noted that this was on “no volume”.

A little busier was Kingspan, which added 0.9 per cent or 7 cent to climb to €8.13.

Pharmaceutical firm Icon became the latest name to announce its intention to depart the Irish Stock Exchange yesterday, with one analyst noting that it was a “slight that the ISE could do without”.

Nonetheless the stock enjoyed a strong day, adding 96 cent, or 5.4 per cent to finish the day up at €18.50.


UK STOCKS climbed the most in a month as Lloyds Banking Group and British Sky Broadcasting Group reported better-than-estimated earnings and US manufacturing expanded.

Lloyds, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, gained 8.3 per cent and BSkyB, the nations largest pay-television provider, rallied 7.1 per cent.

BT Group jumped the most in more than two years after the UK’s biggest fixed-line phone company kept a full-year profit target and raised its dividend.

Croda International slipped 1.3 per cent as operating profit missed analyst projections.

The FTSE 100 Index rose 79.22 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 5,861.92 at the close in London, the largest increase since October 1st.


EUROPEAN STOCKS advanced the most in two weeks with Etablissements Maurel and Prom leading the rally.

It surged by 8.3 per cent on the back of speculation that China Petrochemical Corp is considering a takeover offer for the French oil explorer.

Financiere Richemont, the owner of the Cartier brand, gained 4.9 per cent to 63.35 Swiss francs after Bank of America raised the stock to buy from underperform.

Swatch Group, the world’s largest watchmaker, increased 4.8 per cent to 403.90 francs, while Christian Dior rose 3.3 per cent to €114.45, and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton advanced 2.6 per cent to €128.60.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 1.3 per cent to 273.7 at the close, its biggest gain since October 16th,

In Paris, the CAC 40 climbed by 1.4 per cent, while in Frankfurt, the DAX was up by 1 per cent.


US STOCKS shot higher, boosted by bullish job market and consumer confidence data as trading continued to return to normal following storm Sandy’s devastating sweep through the US north east.

Technology and industrial sector shares led gains as data showed US companies added jobs in October at the fastest pace in eight months, and consumer confidence hit its highest in more than four years.

Shares of JDA Software Group, a maker of supply-chain management software, soared 17.4 per cent to $44.80 after the company agreed to be bought by privately held rival RedPrairie Corp for about $1.9 billion in cash.

Pfizer Inc, which delayed the release of its quarterly results because of the storm, posted revenue that fell far short of expectations, pushing its stock down 1.7 per cent to $24.46. Other drug makers reported revenue shortfalls for the third quarter due to sharper-than-expected sales erosion.

Exxon Mobil Corp, which like Pfizer is a Dow component, dipped 0.01 per cent to $91.16 after reporting a quarterly profit that slipped from a year ago, although it still topped expectations. Exxon’s oil and gas output, however, declined more than expected.

– (Additional reporting Bloomberg/Reuters)