Ryanair rally continues as European equities hit two-year peak
Market report: Paddy Power Betfair up 5% while retailer Next weighs on FTSE
Stock market gains: A Ryanair plane lands at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Paul Faith / AFP / Getty
European stocks hit a two-year peak yesterday, while in Dublin there were positive moves for Ryanair and Paddy Power Betfair on the back of strong results.
Ryanair continued its recent rally, finishing the day up about 3 per cent after its reporting an 11 per cent rise in net profit to €1.3 billion in interim results on Tuesday.
“One of the reasons it continued to rally was because there was a sector-wide rally with Air France up 0.5 per cent and Lufthansa up 3 per cent, so I think they were leading each other,” said an analyst with Davy.
Smurfit Kappa published results on Wednesday, and traded up 3 per cent on the back of that. “They had an increase in corrugated prices, which is one of their main products,” noted the analyst.
Bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair reported yesterday that revenues rose by 9 per cent to £440million in the group’s third quarter, driven by 11 per cent growth in sports revenue. The stock rallied 5 per cent.
In property, Ires Reit was up about 1.6 per cent after it named Margaret Sweeney, the former head of airport operator DAA and Postbank Ireland, as its next chief executive. Elsewhere, building materials company CRH finished the day down 0.9 per cent.
Declines for Next and Standard Chartered weighed on Britain’s top share index, helping to offset a rally in commodities-exposed stocks.
Britain’s blue chip FTSE 100 ended 0.07 per cent down, while the mid-cap index rose by 0.5 per cent.
The FTSE gave up some gains after robust UK manufacturing data, which bolstered expectations for an interest rate increase from the Bank of England on Thursday and sent sterling higher.
A 9 per cent plunge in Next’s shares was among the main moves on the benchmark index after the clothing retailer said that trading was “extremely volatile”. Next’s shares had gained about 38 per cent since hitting a low in July.
Shares in fellow retailers Marks & Spencer and Primark-owner AB Foods also fell, down 4.4 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively.
Results also weighed on bank Standard Chartered, which sank more than 6 per cent for its biggest one-day loss in almost a year after higher expenses overshadowed better than expected quarterly profit.
European stocks hit a two-year peak, lifted by resilient company earnings and record highs in world stocks.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended up 0.4 per cent after rising earlier in the session by as much as 0.7 per cent. Some of that was down to Germany’s Dax index which jumped 1.8 per cent to a fresh record high.
The European benchmark is enjoying its fifth straight day of gains and rose almost 2 per cent in October, having also taken a cue from global markets which have been propelled higher by hopes of US tax cuts, economic recovery and a robust tech cycle.
The day’s top performer was British drugmaker Indivior which soared more than 8 per cent after US authorities recommended approval for an opioid addiction drug. The stock has risen about 24 per cent already this week.
The S&P and the Dow were little changed as investors awaited a statement from the US Federal Reserve following its two-day policy meeting.
Apple was down 1.8 per cent, the stock’s first decline in five days. The iPhone maker will report results on Thursday.
Wall Street’s recent rally has been supported by strong third-quarter results from technology and consumer companies amid concerns over stretched valuations.
Third-quarter earnings have been largely positive, with 73 per cent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported topping profit expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data. That is above the 72 per cent profit-beat rate in the past four quarters.
Cosmetics maker Estee Lauder, US Steel and Garmin all reported strong results, up nearly 8 per cent, 5.6 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.
(Additional reporting: agencies)