Sunday 20 August 2017

European stocks close the week up over faith in central banks

A stockbroker transacts shares during a trading session at the Nairobi Securities Exchange in Kenya's capital Nairob
A stockbroker transacts shares during a trading session at the Nairobi Securities Exchange in Kenya's capital Nairob
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

European stocks advanced with mining companies amid investor confidence that central bank willingness to support global growth will bear fruit.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.81pc, or 49.66 points, to end the trading week at 6,191.51. The leaders on the Dublin market included insulation group Kingspan, which rose 2.5pc to €22.42, while speciality baker Aryzta increased 2pc to €33.80.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included insurance group FBD, which slipped 3pc to €6.45, and packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, which fell 3.3pc to €22.10.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3pc to 341.71 at the close of trading.

The equity gauge rebounded as much as 14pc since a low on February 11 amid a rally in banks and miners, and central bank steps to spur growth.

This week's scaling back by the Federal Reserve of expectations for interest rate increases complemented a wave of monetary easing that saw Norway cut borrowing costs and Switzerland hold rates at record lows, a week after the European Central Bank boosted stimulus.

Anglo American and Glencore led a rebound in resource-related stocks. Daimler and Volkswagen pushed carmakers higher as a weaker euro boosted earnings prospects.

Standard Chartered led a measure of banks to its first daily advance since Monday.

"We've finally seen some light at the end of the tunnel," said William Hobbs, head of investment strategy at Barclays wealth-management unit in London.

"Central banks will remain accommodative. Better economic prospects in different parts of the world signal that this may at some point happen in Europe."

Still, lingering uncertainty over corporate earnings has restrained progress, and the Stoxx 600 posted its first weekly decline in five weeks.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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