Dollar and oil prices rise as Apple lifts global shares
Stocks moved higher around the globe and the US dollar rose along with oil prices yesterday as risk assets enjoyed a reprieve from the downturn that has gripped markets in recent days.
The dollar rose 0.4pc on Wednesday, boosted by a stronger-than-expected initial reading on US employment and solid manufacturing data.
On Wall Street, Apple shares were the top boost to all the three main indexes after positive results.
"With a bellwether company such as Apple reporting an encouraging set of numbers, it has brought the focus of investors back on company fundamentals," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
In Dublin, the Iseq index gained strongly, up 1.4pc heading into the close. Ryanair was among the big movers, up 3.2pc, while IFG rose 3.4pc. In a broadly better market, Bank of Ireland shares were up 3.2pc to 25.6 cents.
Elsewhere in Europe, shares were firmly up after three days of losses, with basic resources and industrials leading, boosted by healthy corporate results and positive manufacturing data out of regional heavyweights France, Germany and Italy.
The pan-European STOXX index was up 0.8pc, led by Swedish truck maker Volvo and German engineering giant Siemens.
French manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in nearly six years in January as demand firmed up, while German factory growth was the highest in three years, and Italy's also increased, albeit at a slower pace.
Volvo shares were the top European gainers, up 6.4pc after the company substantially outperformed forecasts with a core profit of 5.66 billion Swedish crowns, and raised its forecast for the European truck market.
Shares in Siemens hit their highest level since September 2000, after it raised its outlook, with industrial business profit jumping in the fiscal first quarter.
"Clearly Siemens' transformation is under way and we see little reason why the stock would not move more towards a sector multiple," Liberum analysts said in a note, reiterating their 'buy' rating on the stock.
Industrials across Europe were buoyed by the manufacturing data, with materials firm Saint Gobain and tire manufacturer Michelin (MICP.PA) top gainers in France's CAC 40 index. Finnish paper maker UPM-Kymmene was recovering slightly from its biggest ever daily drop yesterday, up 3.9pc, and Swedish oil company Lundin Petroleum was up 4pc. (Reuters)