September boost for European shares after summer of losses
Iseq in positive territory with Ryanair, Paddy Power Betfair and CRH among the gainers
Vivendi, which delivered an update, lifted markets. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters
European shares started September on a firm footing after three months of losses as industrials rose and an update from Vivendi boosted media stocks.
A record plunge in pharma firm Indivior weighed on British mid-caps, however. The pan-European STOXX 600 index and euro zone blue chips both ended up 0.6 per cent, helped in afternoon trading as the euro lost ground against the dollar.
In the US, stocks rose on Friday, boosting an index of global equity markets close to a record high, after data showed job growth slowed more than expected in August, which could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year.
The week ended on a positive note in Dublin on Friday with the Iseq closing up just over 1 per cent to 6,709.23. Paddy Power Betfair shares were strong, with the stock closing up 3 per cent to €76.14. Ryanair, which earlier this week announced plans to bid to operate 90 Alitalia planes, was also on a high on Friday, up 1.3 per cent to €18.09.
Total Produce, which on Thursday issued a 12.2 per cent rise in first-half revenues to €2.15 billion, gained 3.5 per cent to €2.24.
Other movers included Kerry Group, up 1.6 per cent to €79.47, and insurance group IFG, up 4.5 per cent to €1.85. Construction-focused stocks were also in focus, with heavyweight CRH up 1.8 per cent to €29.85 while Kingspan gained 1.5 per cent to €32.99.
UK blue-chips, backed by buoyant mining stocks, were up for their first September trades on Friday after outperforming their European peers with a second consecutive monthly rise in August.
The FTSE 100 ended up 0.1 per cent, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 index was held back with a 0.1 per cent retreat due to the collapse of Indivior’s shares. The drugmaker’s shares sank 36 per cent after it said it would appeal a US court ruling which potentially opens the way to a rival to the firm’s Suboxone Film opioid addiction treatment.
Other mid-caps suffered blows including Greene King, down 3.8 per cent after HSBC cut its rating on the stock, and electronics retailer Dixons Carphone, which lost 1.7 per cent after both Investec and Morgan Stanley took a more negative view on its prospects.
Financials were mixed, with HSBC and Lloyds falling slightly and Barclays and Standard Chartered both up around 0.5 per cent.
On an otherwise relatively quiet day for corporate news, shares in Swedish vehicle maker Volvo jumped 7.3 per cent, scoring their biggest one-day gain in more than four months after setting new financial targets.
Results drove some sizeable moves, with shares in French media firm Vivendi rising 5.2 per cent after the group confirmed its outlook, reporting better-than-expected profit growth for the year. Europe’s media sector rose 0.9 per cent.
French telecoms stock Iliad rose 2.2 per cent on the back of robust first half earnings, which saw profit rise 22 per cent thanks to winning new subscribers. Swiss security firm Dormakaba was another top riser, boosted 4.5 per cent to an all-time high after Societe Generale began its coverage of the stock with a “buy” rating.
US stocks were up in early trading on Friday, with the Dow hitting the 22,000 mark for the first time in more than two weeks, after a tepid August jobs report increased the likelihood of the Fed holding back on raising interest rates again this year.
Ford’s shares were up 3 per cent, General Motors 3.1 per cent and Fiat Chrysler 5.7 per cent after better-than-anticipated August sales and as investors bet that damage from Hurricane Harvey would boost demand.
Ambarella was down 21 per cent after a series of price target cuts following a tepid forecast. Canadian yoga and leisure apparel maker Lululemon Athletica rose 7.7 per cent after earnings beat expectations.
– (Additional reporting: Reuters)