Positive economic signals prompt gains for European stocks

Ryanair, Richemont and Boeing among the risers in final trading session of the week

Skyscrapers in the Canary Wharf business district of London: oil giants BP and Shell were the biggest boosts to the FTSE 100 on Friday. Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Skyscrapers in the Canary Wharf business district of London: oil giants BP and Shell were the biggest boosts to the FTSE 100 on Friday. Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

 

European stocks rose on Friday as encouraging economic data kept investors cautiously optimistic despite rising inflation worries.

Euro zone business growth accelerated at its fastest pace in over three years in May, helped by a strong resurgence for the services sector, while a gauge of UK economic growth hit its highest level on record in May as many services firms reopened their doors and factories rode a wave of demand.

DUBLIN

The Iseq climbed 1.5 per cent in line with the positive trend in Europe, with several of its key stocks ending the week on an upbeat note.

Ryanair advanced 2.8 per cent to €16.50 as London-listed EasyJet and International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) also rose.

Two other stocks in the travel and leisure sector , Dalata Hotel Group and ferry operator Irish Continental Group, also had a good day. Dalata added 2.8 per cent to €4.19, while ICG finished 5.4 per cent higher at €4.70.

Building materials group CRH, the largest stock on the index, closed up 1.2 per cent at €41.78, while Paddy Power-owner Flutter Entertainment also made gains, finishing up 2.8 per cent at €150.85.

AIB added 1.5 per cent to €2.57 and Bank of Ireland closed at €5.16, up 1.8 per cent. However, cheese-maker Glanbia fell 1 per cent to €14.05, while Kerry Group and packaging company Smurfit Kappa were also more subdued.

LONDON

The FTSE 100 finished flat on Friday, posting a weekly loss, as weakness in mining stocks countered a bigger-than-expected jump in retail sales and business activity.

Heavyweight mining stocks Anglo American, Glencore and Rio Tinto fell between 0.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent and meant the blue-chip index underperformed compared to major indices across Europe, ending the session marginally in the red.

Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell were the biggest boosts, rising 0.6 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 closed on the modestly positive side of flat. Waste management company Biffa rose 6 per cent to the top of the mid-cap index after its proposal to buy the collections business and certain recycling assets from Viridor Waste Management.

Card Factory slid 15.1 per cent after reporting a marginal drop in like-for-like store sales compared with 2019, after the UK began reopening stores and eased restrictions in April.

EUROPE

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.6 per cent, capping the week with a small gain. In Frankfurt the Dax added 0.4 per cent, while the Cac 40 in Paris closed 0.7 per cent higher.

Cartier-owner Richemont rose 5 per cent to a record high as the Swiss luxury good company proposed doubling its dividend back to pre-pandemic levels after strong demand for jewellery helped lift net profit and contain the fall in sales in its fiscal year 2020-21.

German luxury carmaker BMW rose 0.7 per cent after it said it would have to set aside €1 billion, less than initially feared, for expected European antitrust fines for alleged collusion with rivals.

Lufthansa fell 6.5 per cent as the Thiele family, the second-largest shareholder in the German airline, sold more than half of its stake.

US

The S&P 500 and the Dow rose in early trading, extending a recovery from the previous session, as strong US factory and services activity surveys lifted the mood at the end of a volatile week of trading.

Boeing added about 3 per cent as industry sources said it has drawn up preliminary plans for a fresh sprint in 737 MAX output to as many as 42 jets a month in autumn 2022.

Deere & Co gained 2.9 per cent after the farm equipment manufacturer raised its full-year profit forecast.

Nvidia Corp added about 2.3 per cent after announcing a four-for-one stock split. – Additional reporting: Reuters