European earnings offset debt woes
IRISH stocks experienced their biggest one-day jump since January 4 as better-than-estimated earnings reports across Europe overshadowed concern that Greece's credit crisis will spread through the euro region.
The biggest gains in Europe were seen in the countries that suffered the biggest falls earlier this week.
The ISEQ Overall index advanced 114.89 points, or 3.6pc, to 3371.91 points yesterday as national benchmark indexes rebounded in all 18 western European markets except Iceland. Germany's DAX rose 1pc, France's CAC climbed 1.4pc and the UK's FTSE 100 rose 0.6pc. In Greece, the benchmark ASE Index soared 7.1pc.
In Dublin, Glanbia rose 5.9pc to €3.24 as chairman Liam Herlihy said there was "no plan B, nor can there be" to the company's proposed sale of its Irish dairy unit to the Glanbia Co-op.
Sandwich maker Greencore jumped 4.8pc to €1.30 after it said it made "significant progress" across its chilled ready-meal business during the last 12 months. "We are likely to see further opportunities arise from supplier consolidation across chilled ready-meals," the company said. Aer Lingus rose 4.4pc to 71c after it named Trevor Jensen as chief operating officer from June 1.
European stocks rebounded from a six-week low with the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index rising to 1.4pc to 261.74 in late trading. "Sovereign debt concerns are being offset by strong corporate numbers," said Manoj Ladwa, a London-based senior trader at ETX Capital.
Among those surprising on the upside were Banco Santander, which rallied 4pc after the biggest Spanish bank posted profit that topped analyst projections. Pernod Ricard gained 1.9pc after the distiller raised its earnings forecasts. National Bank of Greece soared 18pc amid optimism Greek aid talks will conclude this week.
Of the companies on the Stoxx 600 that have reported earnings since April 12, about 70pc have beaten analysts' estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In the US, almost 80pc of S&P 500 companies have topped projections.
Unilever gained 3.3pc in London after the world's second-largest food and detergent company reported a 33pc increase in first-quarter profit to €97m as lower prices spurred shoppers to buy more Dove soap and Lipton tea.
Standard Life gained 4.4pc after it reported a 30pc rise in first-quarter revenue.
It was the same story of good results chasing away Greek blues across the Atlantic where US stocks rallied, sending the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to its biggest gain in almost two months, as better-than-estimated earnings at companies from Motorola to Baidu showed the economy is strengthening.
The S&P 500 gained 1.3pc by early afternoon trading, its biggest advance since March 5.