Record highs across across the board

World markets climb on hopes of more easy money from top central banks

Hopes of more easy money from top central banks pushed Japan’s Nikkei index past 20,000 points for the first time in 15 years

Hopes of more easy money from top central banks pushed Japan’s Nikkei index past 20,000 points for the first time in 15 years

 

World equity markets tested record highs as hopes of more easy money from top central banks pushed Japan’s Nikkei index past 20,000 points for the first time in 15 years. European stocks extended an all-time high, posting their biggest weekly gain since January.

DUBLIN

Aer Lingus

It was a volatile day for a number of stocks, including Smurfit Kappa, according to one Dublin analyst. Smurfit Kappa closed lower at €28.91. An article on the Financial Times’s Lex column yesterday suggested the stock was rising on the back of potential takeover speculation that was not necessarily justified. The stock momentarily dipped below €27 as a result.

There was also news that container board prices across Europe are under pressure.

Bank of Ireland gave up a little ground, falling 2.4 per cent to finish the day at 36 cents, while index heavyweight CRH fell 0.58 per cent to €24.83.

There was a lot of volume in Paddy Power, with more than half a million shares traded at almost €82 a share. The stock closed up at €81.96.

LONDON

Shire

Shire shares rose 4.8 per cent, the biggest gain on the FTSE 100, from a US Food and Drug Administration decision to grant a priority review to its application for lifitegrast, a dry-eye disease treatment.

Homebuilders Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey rose, as did property-listing company Zoopla, a day after data pointed to a rebound in British house-price growth in March.

Some mining stocks including Anglo American and Rio Tinto slipped, hit by a renewed slide in prices for iron ore. Drugmaker AstraZeneca also fell after a negative review for Astra’s diabetes drug Onglyza.

The FTSE 100 ended up 1.1 per cent at 7,089.77 points, its highest closing level to date.

EUROPE

France’s Carrefour, the world’s second biggest retailer, rose 2 per cent after it reported better-than-expected quarterly sales, driven by growth in Latin America and an improvement at its domestic hypermarkets.

Nokia shares jumped 5.6 per cent after a Bloomberg report suggested that the company is weighing a sale of its maps business. Bollore added 1.9 per cent after it spent €800 million to increase its stake in Vivendi to 14.52 per cent.

Cie. de Saint-Gobain lost 2.4 per cent after a report said its chief executive officer saw no construction recovery in France this year.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.9 per cent to 412.93 at the close of trading in London. Germany’s DAX index hit an all time-high while France’s CAC 40 rose to its highest level since 2008.

NEW YORK

GE rallied the most in more than four years after saying it plans to exit the majority of its finance business, and it authorized a stock buyback of as much as $50 billion. Healthcare companies rose for a sixth day.

Citrix Systems fell 2.5 per cent, weighing on the technology group, after saying first-quarter results would be below its prior forecast. Netflix gained 3 per cent after Citigroup upgraded the company to buy from neutral, in part citing improvement in recently released content and content line-up for the rest of this year. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters