Up-beat European stocks hold on to five-month highs
Markets report: Investors await rate news from Bank of England and Fed later this week
Kellogg cereal plant in Memphis, Tennessee. Photograph: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
European stocks held on to five-month highs on Tuesday, ending October with a 1.8 per cent monthly gain, the second in a row, as third-quarter data fuelled confidence in the resilience of equities.
Investors also awaited two major news events expected on Thursday: the possibility of the first interest rate rise by the Bank of England since 2007 and the announcement of the next chair of the Federal Reserve. A Fed interest rate decision is also due on Wednesday, but no rate hike is expected until at least December.
The Iseq climbed 0.9 per cent, driven by a surge of 6.9 per cent for Ryanair, which reported an 11 per cent rise in profits in its half-year results and restated its forecast for a full-year profit of €1.4-€1.45 billion. The stock traded up 7.7 per cent earlier in the session.
Green Reit rose 0.7 per cent to €1.51 after it announced that it has signed an agreement with Goshawk Management Ireland to lease 1,200sq m of space at its flagship office development at One Molesworth Street in Dublin 2. Hibernia Reit added 1.3 per cent to €1.48.
Building materials group CRH closed up 0.9 per cent at €32.37, while paper and packaging company Smurfit Kappa slipped 0.6 per cent to €25.60 ahead of its interim results on Wednesday morning.
The FTSE 100 edged up 0.1 per cent, sealing the best month for the index since May, as upbeat results helped maintain a positive mood.
BP shares closed up 1.7 per cent after the oil major posted a strong earnings update and said it would resume share buybacks. Gains in BP were mirrored by strength in Royal Dutch Shell, up more than 1 per cent.
Advertising giant WPP rose 3 per cent to 1,334 pence after earlier falling as much as 2.7 per cent, as the group again lowered its full-year revenue expectations.
Burberry closed down 1 per cent at 1,902 pence after it was announced that creative director Christopher Bailey, who fashioned the trench-coat maker into a global label, is to leave the company.
Just Eat rose 5.4 per cent to 780 pence, having earlier touched a 52-week high. The takeaway group reported a 47 per cent increase in revenues for the third quarter.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 0.4 per cent higher as fresh data showed the euro zone grew faster than expected last quarter and unemployment fell to its lowest in almost nine years.
Spain’s Ibex index closed the day 0.7 per cent higher after Catalonia’s ousted leader, Carles Puigdemont, agreed to a snap election called by Spain’s central government to end the political crisis.
Swedish forest products company Svenska Cellulosa jumped 2.3 per cent after beating expectations. BNP Paribas lost the most among banks, falling 2.7 per cent after its results showed a disappointing performance in its markets business.
Swiss toilet and plumbing supplies maker Geberit sustained heavy losses, falling 4.5 per cent after third-quarter sales and earnings missed expectations.
The German market was closed for Reformation Day.
Gains in technology stocks and a jump in shares of consumer companies Mondelez and Kellogg on Tuesday put the three major Wall Street indexes on track for their best monthly gains since February.
Apple rose 1.4 per cent to a record high after positive reviews of its much-anticipated iPhone X. The stock provided the biggest boost to all the three major indexes.
Intel hit a 17-year high following a report that Apple has designed iPhones and iPads that would drop chips supplied by Qualcomm. Qualcomm plunged 7.3 per cent and was the biggest drag on the S&P and the Nasdaq.
Mondelez jumped 5.73 per cent after the Cadbury owner reported better-than-expected profit and revenue, while Kellogg surged 6 per cent following its first sales increase in more than two years.
(Additional reporting: Reuters)