Key stock markets in Europe and Asia rallied as expectations built that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month, while the US dollar retreated after four sessions of gains. US stock indexes were little changed in choppy trading after a strong rally in the previous session.
It was a good day on the Dublin market yesterday with nearly all stocks rising. The Iseq finished the day ahead of its European peers, up 2.03 per cent, at 6,687.93.
CRH climbed 5 per cent to close at €26.76 on the back of decent volumes. The building materials giant's stock jumped following a positive interim management statement, which shows sales from continuing operations rose 16 per cent to €15.5 billion in the nine months to the end of September.
Bank of Ireland jumped 3.1 per cent to 32 cent, with the stock in recovery as a result of better employment data, according to one stockbroker. Figures released this week show unemployment is now below 10 per cent.
Paddy Power rose 0.5 per cent to €115.90, with the stock still doing well after positive interim results earlier this week. The bookmaker said net revenue between July 1st and November 15th was up 6 per cent on the same period last year.
There was also a decent bit of volume in Dalata, with stock near a year-to-date high, according to one stockbroker. Dalata closed up 1.1 per cent at €4.56.
UK shares rallied for a fourth day to reach a two-week high, with the majority of FTSE 100 Index companies rising.
Johnson Matthey jumped 9.7 per cent, the most in seven years, after saying it would return about £305 million to shareholders and cut costs.
Royal Mail added 5 per cent after posting earnings that beat analyst expectations.
The FTSE 100 added 0.8 per cent, to 6,329.93, at the close in London, tracking global stocks higher after minutes of a US Fed meeting reaffirmed policymakers’ faith in the world’s biggest economy and stressed the pace of any rate increases will be slow.
European shares touched three-month highs yesterday, helped by food and facilities group
rallying after a solid update and a share buyback announcement.
Sodexo jumped 9.9 per cent, its biggest one-day gain since July 2004, after saying it would cut costs further to cope with a volatile global economy.
ThyssenKrupp rose 2.6 per cent after profit increased and the steelmaker proposed to boost its dividend.
National Bank of Greece and Piraeus Bank tumbled 15 per cent or more.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index initially rose 1 per cent to its highest level since late August before easing back to close 0.4 per cent higher.
The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro Stoxx 50 index also rose 0.5 per cent.Germany’s Dax index advanced 1.1 per cent, one of the biggest gainers in western-European markets. France’s Cac 40 was flat.
US indexes wobbled on Thursday as healthcare stocks snapped a three-day rally after UnitedHealth cut its profit forecast, offsetting gains in technology and consumer stocks.
Dow component UnitedHealth fell 4 per cent to $112.49.
The health insurer was the biggest drag on the Dow. The profit warning sent shares of peers Anthem down more than 6 per cent and Aetna nearly 4 per cent.
The S&P healthcare sector was easily the worst performer among the 10 major S&P sectors, with a 1.52 per cent decline. UnitedHealth and Pfizer weighed the most.
Pfizer was down 3.5 per cent in early trading, making it the biggest drag on the S&P, after reports that the company's talks to buy Allergan and redomicile in Ireland were in the final stages. Allergan was down 2.5 per cent. – (Additional reporting Bloomberg, Reuters)