Markets rally on back of strong Chinese economic data

Vodafone sends UK market higher


With the US closed for the Labor Day holiday, markets were quiet in Europe, but a delay in potential military activity in Syria, alongside robust economic data from China, helped markets rally.

The Irish market underperformed its European peers, advancing by 58.52 points to 4,248.69.

The big mover on the day was C&C, which gained 16 cent, or 3.8 per cent to close up at €4.36, as it benefited from trade data in the UK.

Ryanair was another strong mover on the day as it got a lift from falling oil prices. It added 17 cent, or 2.6 per cent, to finish the day up at €6.78.

On light volumes Bank of Ireland was fairly flat on the day, gaining 1.4 per cent to finish the day up at 0.224.

Commercial property stock Green REIT enjoyed another strong day, climbing by 3 cent, or 2.4 per cent, to advance to €1.28. “Retail investors still have an appetite for the stock at these levels,” one broker said.

Independent News & Media rose by 4.4 per cent on the back of press speculation that it will raise €40 million in a rights issue. It closed up at €0.047.

Despite bad news for Tullow Oil in Mozambique, where it reported that it has failed to find oil at an exploration well, the stock climbed 15 cent, or 1.3 per cent, to €12.02, having been weak into the close on Friday.

Britain’s top shares bounced back with a broad-based equity market rally.

The FTSE 100 ended up 93.26 points, or 1.5 per cent, at 6,506.19 points, its highest close since August 14th, led by miners, telecoms and banks.

The energy sector was the main faller, down in tandem with oil prices, after US president Barack Obama said that any punitive strikes against Syria would wait until lawmakers had a chance to vote.

Mining stocks rose 2.8 per cent – their biggest one-day percentage rise in just under a month – as data showed manufacturing activity growing in top metals consumer China for the first time in months in August.

In Britain, manufacturing accelerated again in August and new orders and output rose at their fastest pace in nearly 20 years. “The pull-back [on Syria] that we’ve seen from politicians ... has allowed some of that negative sentiment to dissipate. Investors have been able to focus a little bit more on the fundamentals,” said Henk Potts, market strategist at Barclays.

Vodafone was up 3.4 per cent, adding about 13 points to the FTSE, with the telecoms group and its US partner Verizon Communications expected to announce a $130 billion deal that will give the US firm complete control of Verizon Wireless, subject to final board approval. Trading volume in Vodafone was robust, at around twice its 90-day daily average.

Analysts said the FTSE 100’s next moves will likely be dictated by Friday’s US jobs report.

European stocks advanced the most in eight weeks as a gauge of Chinese manufacturing activity exceeded economists’ estimates. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 1.8 per cent to 302.66, its biggest gain since July 4th, while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 gained 1.6 per cent each.

Telecom Italia, Italy’s biggest telephone company, added 3.9 per cent to 55 cents. A gauge of telecommunications operators climbed 2.7 per cent.

Teleperformance climbed 2.9 per cent to €35.10. Societe Generale raised its recommendation on the French operator of call centres to buy from hold. The brokerage said the shares’ recent decline provides a buying opportunity.

Havas surged 6 per cent to €5.82, its largest rally in 14 months. The French advertising company reported first-half profit of €58 million.

Helvetia Holding added 3.3 per cent to 412 Swiss francs. Switzerland’s fourth biggest insurer said first-half profit rose because of increased life insurance sales and an acquisition in France. (Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters)