Strong performance by oil stocks boosts European shares

Shares in Game Account Network rise steeply in Dublin and London

European shares inched up aided by a strong performance from oil stocks boosted by news of an increase in crude prices.


Former Ires Real Estate Investment Trust chief executive David Ehrlich sold 11.8 million shares to the listed landlord's biggest investor Capreit for €1.3773 each. However, the news had little impact on the Ires share price which closed 0.29 per cent down at €1.386 after trading in a narrow range that took the stock close to €1.40, traders said.

Smurfit Kappa edged up 0.4 per cent to €35.50. The Irish paper and packaging group said it had been added to the MSCI Standard Series Index at the May half-yearly review. This means that fund managers tracking the index could have to add Smurfit to their portfolios.

Game Account Network (GAN) climbed 37.5 per cent to 55 cent, but traders cautioned that most of the trade in the stock takes place on the London market, where the increase was around half that level.


Builder Cairn Homes, which will release a trading statement on Wednesday ahead of its annual general meeting, fell 1.08 per cent to €1.838.


Shares in GAN continued to climb in London on Tuesday following news that the US supreme court has lifted an effective ban on states legalising sports betting. Its shares gained 18.73 per cent to close at 47.6 pence sterling. Dealers pointed out that the gaming company has a big exposure to the US, where it has most of its contracts.

Irish distributor DCC inched up 0.14 per cent to 7,230p after reporting a 27 per cent increase in profits for the 12 months ended March 31st.

BP added 1.17 per cent to €577.20, one of a clutch of oil companies to gain ground on news of rising crude prices.

Taylor Wimpey shot to the top of the FTSE 100 after the developer said it would reduce the time it holds land for by a year, allowing it to accelerate sales. The housebuilder also increased its ordinary dividend to at least £250 million a year from 2019, helping spark a 7.2p rise in the stock, which ended the day at 202.3p.

Airline EasyJet was the second biggest riser on the FTSE 100 after the low-cost carrier's losses narrowed in the first half of the year. The budget airline reported a £68 million pre-tax loss in the six months to March 31st, which compares with a £236 million loss in the same period last year. Shares closed the session 56p higher at 1,741p.

Vodafone's shares slid after the company announced chief executive Vittorio Colao would step down on October 1st after more than 10 years at the helm of the mobile phone giant. Vodafone's shares fell more than 4 per cent or 8.82p to 198.38p, making it the biggest faller on the FTSE 100.


Oil major Royal Dutch Shell climbed 1.32 per cent to €30.62 on the Amsterdam market. Eni gained 0.76 per cent to €16.80.

Credit Agricole added to the optimism around banking stocks. The French bank's shares had fallen at the open but recovered to trade up 1.2 per cent after quarterly profit fell short of expectations.

French satellite firm Eutelsat tumbled 12 per cent after warning it could fall short of its full-year revenue target.

Steel maker Thyssenkrupp posted a surprise loss at its Industrial Solutions business, sending its shares down 6.4 per cent.


Wall Street slipped in early trade on Tuesday as growing retail sales data prompted fears of an interest rate hike.

While consumer stocks overall were lower, shares of retailers including J C Penney, Target and Macy's rose between 1.6 per cent to 3.9 per cent.

Home Depot slipped 1.4 per cent after the number one US home improvement chain missed Wall Street forecasts for sales at established stores. Smaller rival Lowe's was down 0.7 per cent. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas