Markets advance on positive US jobs news

Poor volumes blamed flat Dublin market

Mothercare jumped 8.4 per cent to 252 pence, its highest price since February.

Mothercare jumped 8.4 per cent to 252 pence, its highest price since February.


European stocks advanced on the back of better-than-expected US jobs figures, which outweighed less positive news on factory orders in the world’s biggest economy.


The Irish market was largely flat, according to traders, who said that volumes were below average, thanks to slower than usual activity.

Packaging group Smurfit Kappa slid 1.54 per cent to €16 on news that a Dutch newsprint producer plans to convert its plant to containerboard, a move that will boost capacity in a key segment for the Irish company by 2016.

Building materials group, CRH was off 0.68 per cent at €19.13, although volumes were lower than usual.

Another construction-related stock, Kingspan, was one of the market’s best performers, gaining 3.14 per cent to €12.81.

Ryanair fell 1.61 per cent to €6.849 on generally poor sentiment towards the sector in Europe. That also afflicted its local rival, Aer Lingus, which was off 1.66 per cent at €1.426.

Bank of Ireland gained 0.79 per cent to end the day at 25.4 cent. LONDON Irish-based oil and gas explorer, Tullow Oil, dipped 0.64 per cent to 849.5 pence sterling after announcing that it will take a $415 million charge after disappointing drill results in Mauritania, Ethiopia and Norway.

Standard Chartered rose by 2.4 per cent to 1,222 pence. The bank, which generates more than three-quarters of its earnings in Asia, plans to sell private-equity investments valued at about $500 million, according to two sources. The lender will sell minority stakes in companies it owns including those in India.

Carillion rose 3.1 per cent to 343.5 pence. The construction and services provider, which reports financial results next month, said operating margin improved in the first six months of 2014 and that it won new and probable orders worth about £500 million.

BG increased 2 per cent to 1,272.5 pence as Canaccord Genuity upgraded the natural gas explorer to buy from hold. Mothercare jumped 8.4 per cent to 252 pence, its highest price since February.

EUROPE Chr Hansen advanced 4.3 per cent to 240.50 kroner after the maker of dairy enzymes reported third-quarter net income of €37.4 million, surpassing the €35.9 million projected by analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Dufry rose 2 per cent to 163.70 Swiss francs after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to buy from neutral, saying its acquisition of Nuance Group will put the Swiss operator of duty-free airport shops in a strong position to win contracts. Dufry said last month it will buy Nuance for about $1.7 billion.

Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentacion (DIA) climbed 5.8 per cent to €7.09 after the Spanish discount grocer said it agreed to buy Grupo El Arbol Distribucion y Supermercados, which owns about 455 stores, for €1 euro.

Royal Vopak rose 1.7 per cent to €36.05 after announcing initiatives to cut capital spending and support its plan for achieving earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation (Ebitda) and exceptional items of more than €768 million by 2016. US Wall Street was flat early in the day despite positive jobs numbers. Rackspace Hosting shares jumped 8.3 per cent to $36.56 on reports that the cloud service provider may take itself private.

Shutterfly shares jumped 13.9 per cent to $49.57 following news that the company was working with boutique investment bank Qatalyst Partners to find buyers. GoPro shares fell 10.3 per cent to $43.78 after closing at $48.80 on Tuesday, which was more than double their IPO price of $24 set last week. JPMorgan Chase shares were in focus after chief executive Jamie Dimon said he had been diagnosed with early stage throat cancer. Shares were down 1.1 per cent at $56.94.– (Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters)