Oil strike lifts stocks to three-month high
European shares rose to three-month highs yesterday, helped by a rally in oil and commodities-related stocks and encouraging trading updates from French cosmetics firm L'Oreal and advertising group Publicis.
L'Oreal rose 5pc as it said it would outperform the market in 2016 and forecast another year of sales and profit growth after first-quarter sales rose more than expected .
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 1.5pc to its highest closing level since January 6.
The key oil and gas index also advanced, rising 1.9pc, as oil prices rose after a strike in Kuwait cut its output almost in half. The strike has ironically boosted global oil prices.
The European basic resources index rose 4.6pc to its highest since early November, with sentiment rising as Rio Tinto reported first quarter iron ore shipments up 11pc.
There were also supportive economic signals from China, the world's top metals consumer. "The possibility that China is stabilising is reassuring markets after a torrid couple of months at the beginning of the year," said Lorne Baring, managing director at B Capital Wealth Management in Geneva.
In Dublin trading was mixed. The Iseq closed down 0.76pc. Decliners included Petroneft, down 2.53pc ahead of the conclusion of its interrupted EGM. Housebuilder Abbey fell 3.38pc to €14.65 a share. IFG dropped 3.76pc to €2.31. Bank of Ireland closed up 2.08pc at 24 cents a share.
In the US the S&P 500 and the Dow gave up early gains yesterday, but were still within shouting distance of their record highs, as investors assessed weak earnings reports by IBM and Netflix. (Additional reporting Reuters)