Strong US economic data buoys equity markets

Good day for Irish shares with Iseq overall index rising 1.08%

Irish shares outperformed European peers on a day when global equities rose with strong economic data coming from the US.

Meanwhile, Britain's Ftse closed higher for the fourth straight session as signs the US and China could soon settle their protracted trade dispute offset disappointing Chinese data.


Ireland's main share index outperformed most of its European peers on Friday with a 1.08 per cent rise led by positive moves in CRH and Ryanair.

Building materials giant CRH jumped 2.15 per cent to €25.64 after its German peer Heidelberg Cement rose.

Budget airline Ryanair leaped 3.64 per cent to €11.40 as investors looked ahead to results from company on Monday. The airline's shares had hovered below the €11 mark after a recent profit warning, but broke through that barrier on Friday.

An acquisition in a Georgian gambling company helped Paddy Power Betfair rise 1.58 per cent to €72.58 on the Irish market. Unusually high volume was seen for Paddy Power with about 2.5 million shares traded after it signed the deal to acquire 51 per cent of Adjarabet.

For financials it was a mixed day, with Bank of Ireland falling 1.82 per cent to €5.14 and AIB rising 2.05 per cent to €3.98.


The Ftse 100 closed up 0.7 per cent, posting its best week since December 2016.

Banks and mining shares were among the biggest boosts to the index as the trade deal signals helped the sectors most sensitive to the global economy.

Burberry, among the most exposed to China, rose 1.7 per cent.

Gold prices fell as investors sought riskier assets, leading Fresnillo down 3.4 per cent to the bottom of the main index. It was one of only 12 blue-chip stocks in the red.

TalkTalk shares ended 4.7 per cent lower after hitting a more than seven-month low as the broadband firm said full-year earnings would fall short of expectations due to higher costs from attracting more customers and changing its accounting standard.

Glencore edged 1.1 per cent lower after Katanga Mining said the Democratic Republic of Congo asked it to suspend a project.

Metro Bank, whose stock has halved in value following an accounting error, jumped 10.4 per cent on its best day since floating in March 2016 and was the best mid-cap performer.


Electrolux put in a good performance with forecast-beating profits sending shares in the home appliance maker up 10.39 per cent.

JCDecaux revenues also cheered investors, boosting the French company's shares about 5.49 per cent.

Thyssenkrupp rose 2.68 per cent after saying first-quarter earnings would be in line with its outlook, giving its ailing shares a boost ahead of a plan to spin off its capital goods businesses.

The world's top maker of diabetes drugs, Novo Nordisk, also saw its shares rise 2.68 per cent after giving a positive earnings update.

There were mixed feelings about results in the banking sector, particularly in Spain, with Caixabank falling 7.22 per cent on its 2018 results while fellow Spanish lender Banco Sabadell dipped 9.09 per cent. In Germany, Deutsche Bank lost another 0.6 per cent after its results, failing to recover after sinking during the last session on speculation of a possible merger with rival Commerzbank.

New York

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.59 per cent, while the S&P 500 gained 0.27 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.02 per cent.

Exxon Mobil added 4.01 per cent and Chevron jumped 3.12 per cent after the oil majors reported better-than-expected quarterly profits, boosting the Dow.

Amazon fell 4.2 per cent after its quarterly sales forecast fell short of Wall Street estimates, overshadowing its record sales and profit during the holiday season.

While fourth-quarter results have mostly beaten expectations, there have been 27 negative earnings pre-announcements issued by companies in the S&P 500 index, compared with nine positive, data from Refinitiv shows. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Latest Stories