Business Irish

Saturday 1 October 2016

European stocks rise to three-month high

Published 20/11/2015 | 02:30

An investor points to an electronic board showing stock information as he speaks to another investor, at a brokerage house in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China. Photo: Reuters
An investor points to an electronic board showing stock information as he speaks to another investor, at a brokerage house in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China. Photo: Reuters

European stocks rose for the third time in four days, as minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting reassured investors that the world's biggest economy can withstand higher borrowing costs.

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Investor optimism was also felt in Ireland, with the ISEQ Overall Index closing up 2.03pc, or 133.29 points, to end the trading day at 6,687.93.

The leaders on the Dublin market included building materials group CRH, which rose 5pc to €26.76 after the company reported that sales hit €15.5bn for in the nine-month period to the end of September, an increase of 16pc year-on-year.

Insulation group Kingspan rose 4.8pc to €24.87 while speciality baker Aryzta increased 1.5pc to €43.45. On the other side of the board, the laggards included insurance group FBD, down 0.2pc to €6.75, while Applegreen dropped 0.9pc to €5.25.

Elsewhere, shares in Poundland, the UK-based owner of discount retailer Dealz, took a battering after it it reported a 26pc drop in profits in the first half of the year.

Shares fell by up to 23pc as the company's interim results showed its underlying pre-tax profit fell to £9.3m (€13.3m) from £12.6m (€18m) in the same period last year.

Overall, however, optimism about global growth sent the Stoxx Europe 600 Index to its highest level in three months. The benchmark gauge added 0.4pc at the close of trading. It pared an advance of as much as 1.2pc after commodity producers gave up some gains.

Fed officials signalled their faith in the strength of the US economy, saying it may "become appropriate" to raise the benchmark lending rate next month.

"The notion that rates can actually rise gives us some hope that the worst of the crisis is behind us and we can start to think about a return to normality," said Peter Dixon, a global equities economist at Commerzbank.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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