Monday 21 August 2017

Earnings and factory data lift markets

Traders gather for the opening of Bonanza Creek Energy Inc. as it begins trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders gather for the opening of Bonanza Creek Energy Inc. as it begins trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

London's FTSE 100 rose on Tuesday, with well-received results from heavyweight BP helping to underpin gains in a positive start to the first trading day of the month.

The blue chip index ended up 0.6pc at 7,250.05 points, in line with a broadly positive European market.

In Dublin, the Iseq made huge gains, to close up 1.73pc at 6,979. Market heavyweights CRH, Kerry and Ryanair were among the gainers.

Strong earning and manufacturing data across Ireland, the UK and Eurozone, as well as gathering confidence that the French election won't produce an anti-EU National Front win underpinned gains.

Europe's Stoxx 600 index hit its highest level since August 2015 thanks to strong corporate earnings.

Oil major BP was a standout performer, 1.6pc a share after its profit nearly tripled in the first quarter of 2017.

Higher oil prices and production helped BP report a first-quarter underlying replacement cost profit, the company's definition of net income, of $1.51bn, beating analysts' forecasts.

"The broader theme is that BP is looking in better shape because of the higher oil price, and while oil prices hold their ground, BP alongside with all of the other oil companies are going to benefit," Jasper Lawler, senior market analyst at London Capital Group, said.

Precious metals miners were on the back foot, however, with both Fresnillo and Randgold Resources dropping more than 2pc after the price of gold, considered a safe-haven asset, held near three-week lows.

The US mood was less buoyant. On Wall St, stocks were modestly higher in early afternoon trading on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq creeping to a record high, helped by an Apple-led rise in tech stocks.

Irish Independent

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