independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Boost in US monthly job numbers helps European stocks end week on high

EUROPEAN stocks rose yesterday, ending a five-day losing streak and rebounding from their lowest level since October 14, after a US jobs report showed employers added more workers than forecast in November, and investors looked for clues on the outlook for Federal Reserve stimulus.

"A solid and spectacular number and a huge surprise on the upside – this is what the latest jobs report delivered," said London-based trader Anita Paluch.

"The fact that employers are getting more confident and hiring more is a sign of increasing strength in economic growth. Clearly this point will add to the intensifying debate surrounding the timing of winding down of quantitative easing."

Irish stocks followed the trend, with the ISEQ Overall Index closing up 0.98pc or 42.57 points to 4392.09. Mining companies led the gainers. Ormonde Mining added 19pc to 6c while Petroneft rose 9pc to 6c and Ovoca Gold was up 5pc to 11c. Ryanair added 2pc to €5.98.

IFG saw the biggest percentage losses of the day, falling 4pc to €1.62. Permanent TSB followed, shedding 2pc to 5c, after Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in Dublin on Wednesday that Irish authorities had yet to present the EU with clear ideas for its restructuring.

Aer Lingus lost 2pc to €1.29. Trade union SIPTU is threatening to ballot Aer Lingus workers for strike action in the weeks up to Christmas if the union's demands relating to the pension fund are not met. House builder Abbey fell 1pc to €10.25 after releasing half-year profits that noted increasing cost pressures, while still reporting a growth in pre-tax profits.

In Europe, 12 of the 17 western European markets open rose. The UK's FTSE 100 gained 0.8pc and France's CAC 40 rose 0.7pc while Germany's DAX jumped 1pc.

In London, house builder Berkeley Group soared to its highest price since at least 1989 after increasing its dividend sixfold and saying first-half profit rose 22pc. Domino's Pizza Group Plc slid 9.3pc after its chief executive officer resigned.

It was a good day for British builders; Taylor Wimpey rose 2.4pc to £1.09 (€1.30) and Persimmon, the UK's largest housebuilder, advanced 2.5pc to £11.83.

In Switzerland, fragrance and flavour manufacturer Givaudan lost 2.1pc after it emerged that Nestle, the world's largest food company, plans to sell all of its 926,562 Givaudan shares at yesterday's closing price to institutional investors.

Irish Independent

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