Markets buoyed as inflation worries ease

Many of the Iseq’s indigenous multinationals rise in brisk trading

European stocks marked their best showing since July on Thursday, as easing oil and gas prices offered relief to investors worried about runaway inflation, while positive earnings updates added to the upbeat sentiment.

US stocks also climbed in a broad-based rally led by heavyweight technology stocks, after a temporary truce in the debt-ceiling standoff in Congress relieved concerns of a possible government debt default later this month.


The Iseq rose almost 1.1 per cent is a buoyant session, notable for the strong performance of indigenous Irish multinationals.

Building materials group CRH did some of the heavy lifting, up more than 3 per cent to €40.79 on a positive read through from its peer Saint Gobain, which gave a positive update to markets.


Paper and materials group Smurfit Kappa, which does well when general economic sentiment rises as it sells packaging for consumer goods, rose almost 2.5 per cent to €45.58.

Renewables group Corre Energy, which debuted on the market last month, fell 3.2 per cent to €1.21.


The FTSE 100 recorded its best day in over two weeks, led by gains in heavyweight mining and bank stocks, while Workspace Group surged as demand for its office spaces recovered.

The blue-chip index gained 1.2 per cent, with miners Glencore, Anglo-American and Rio Tinto among the top boosts. Industrial and precious metal miners added 2 per cent each on higher metal prices.

Royal Dutch Shell gained 1.2 per cent despite warning of a $400 million hit to third-quarter earnings from the damage caused by August's Hurricane Ida.

Homebuilder stocks climbed 0.5 per cent after mortgage lender Halifax said British house prices rose by the most in almost 15 years in September.

Shares of online auto retailer Pendragon climbed 6.9 per cent after the company reported a strong third-quarter performance. Workspace rose 4.9 per cent after the office space provider said the number of people using its centres in London peaked at over half of pre-pandemic levels by the end of September.

British recruitment firm Robert Walters rose 2.5 per cent after it said its annual profit would be ahead of expectations as it benefits from a hot jobs market.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 1.6 per cent to reverse weekly losses, with buying seen across all sectors. The energy sector gained the least, up 0.2 per cent.

The auto and parts sector jumped 3.2 per cent for its best day in three months. The automakers-heavy German Dax index logged its best session since May, up 1.9 per cent, shrugging off data that showed the country’s industrial output in August dropped the most since April last year.

Sika rose 3 per cent after the Swiss construction chemicals maker said it could overcome rising raw material costs and supply chain restrictions to increase its sales and profit margins this year. A similar tone from French construction materials company St Gobain and a stock buyback announcement lifted its shares 4.2 per cent.

French luxury goods maker Hermes jumped 3.7 per cent after HSBC upgraded the stock to "hold", while peers LVMH, Richemont and Kering all rose about 2 per cent.

French car parts maker Valeo climbed 5.9 per cent after a Citigroup upgrade.


Mega-cap stocks were back in action - Microsoft, Apple, Amazon. com and Alphabet rose between 1 per cent and 1.8 per cent, providing the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

All of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors advanced, with eight of them jumping more than 1 per cent. Materials was the biggest gainer, up 2 per cent, followed by healthcare and consumer discretionary.

Levi Strauss & Co jumped 8.8 per cent after the jeans-maker beat third-quarter revenue and profit estimates, boosted by an uptick in demand for jeans as people refreshed their wardrobes.

Snap Inc gained 5.3 per cent after launching an in-app tool to educate users about the dangers of drugs.

(additional reporting: Reuters)

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times