US data and ECB rate cut boost markets’ positive mood

Bank of Ireland adds 4.1% as Irish benchmark debt yields fall

Bank of Ireland was the most traded stock on the Dublin Stock Exchange yesterday, with more than 360 million shares changing hands.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Bank of Ireland was the most traded stock on the Dublin Stock Exchange yesterday, with more than 360 million shares changing hands. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

It was a good day for western stock markets yesterday as they enjoyed an ongoing boost from Thursday’s ECB governing council press conference and digested jobs data from the world’s biggest economy which indicated that unemployment in the US is nearing a six-year low.

Bank of Ireland Plc added 4.1 per cent to €28.1 as the yields on benchmark debt in Ireland fell to 2.438 per cent. Banks generally tended to do well yesterday. DUBLIN Bank of Ireland was the most traded stock, with more than 360 million shares changing hands. The stock closed up 4.1 per cent on the day, ahead of the Iseq, which closed up 1.245 per cent, at 5,012.40.

The other most traded stocks were CRH, Smurfit Kappa, Paddy Power and Ryanair. The building materials group closed up 2.32 per cent, at €21.18, while Smurfit closed at 18.38, a rise of 1.58 per cent. Paddy Power stayed where it was, at €52, while Ryanair rose 1.83 per cent, to €7.57.

Independent News and Media closed at €0.16, up 3.68 per cent, on a day its agm heard it plans to cut €20 million from its operating costs over the course of 2014 and 2015, while stepping up its “substantial” investment in digital activities. LONDON UK stocks rose for the first time in four days as data showed US employers hired more workers than estimated and the unemployment rate in the world’s largest economy held at an almost six-year low last month.

The FTSE 100 Index added 44.72 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 6,858.21 at the close in London. The broader FTSE All-Share Index advanced 0.8 per cent.

Online fashion retailer Asos advanced 7.4 per cent to 3,350 pence, its biggest increase since September after UBS raised its rating on the company to buy from neutral.

Synergy Health Plc advanced 6.6 per cent to 1,396 pence. The health service provider said it signed an outsourcing pact with Sterilmed Inc.

Diageo fell 1.6 per cent to 1,875 pence as food-and-beverages firms tumbled the most among the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Centrica climbed 1.5 per cent to 335.5 pence after the Times reported speculation that Qatar, Electricite de France SA or a private-equity group may bid for the owner of British Gas. The newspaper did not say how it got the information. EUROPE European stocks advanced to a six-year high after a report showed the US economy created more jobs last month than forecast.

Commerzbank AG climbed 4.1 per cent to €12.29 after the lender’s chief executive predicted that the European Central Bank would find no problems during an audit. Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA retreated 2 per cent after saying it will offer new shares to investors at a 35.5 per cent discount in an attempt to rebuild capital.

The Stoxx 600 rose 0.7 per cent to 347.30. The benchmark has gained 0.9 per cent this week as the ECB lowered interest rates and unveiled a package of cheap loans for euro zone banks. NEW YORK US stocks rose with major indexes extending a rally that has taken them to repeated records, after the May payrolls report provided the latest confirmation that economic conditions were improving.

Energy shares were the day’s biggest gainers, up 0.8 per cent, followed by financials, up 0.6 per cent. Mining equipment maker Joy Global Inc jumped 3.8 per cent, building on its 6.7 per cent rally on Thursday on the back on strong results.

Peabody Energy Corp was the biggest percentage decliner on the S&P 500, down 1.9 per cent to $16.26 after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to neutral.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc tumbled 9.2 per cent to $27.70 after the company said it would restate financial results for the past three years to correct accounting errors from 2011.– (Additional reporting, Bloomberg, Reuters)