Thursday 30 March 2017

Irish stocks enjoy resurgence on gainful day for much of Europe

markets

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares rose yesterday, as a slew of positive half-year results and optimism globally boosted stocks.

By the close of trading, the ISEQ Overall Index had climbed 1.32pc, or 32.24 points, to 2,470.30. Sentiment was boosted by results from Tullow Oil, Glanbia and FBD, which all beat analysts' expectations.

The index rose early and stayed there for the rest of the day, peaking at more than 2,485 before falling back.

Glanbia set the tone for the day ahead, rising as much as 6pc in early trading before paring gains to close up 2.84pc at €4.17. The company reported blowout half-year results and increased its guidance for the rest of the year.

That boosted sentiment across food and agri stocks, with Origin Enterprises being the chief beneficiary, ending the session 6.78pc better off.

Oil and gas explorer Tullow Oil jumped 5.51pc to €11.60 after Aidan Heavey's company reported strong half-year numbers and said it planned to invest further in its Jubilee Field offshore Ghana.

FBD Insurance was the other big firm to add value yesterday, with the company closing up 4.1pc at €6.35.

Independent News & Media added 7.44pc ahead of its interim results tomorrow.

There were some losers on the day. Kerry Group fell back on profit taking after recent gains, while Kingspan fell back also, closing down 1.03pc at €6.05.

Elsewhere, European stocks climbed for a third day after a report on US durable goods orders beat forecasts amid ongoing speculation that the US Federal Reserve will act to bolster the economy.

National benchmark indices advanced in all of the 18 western European markets, except Greece and Iceland. France's CAC 40 rose 1.8pc, the UK's FTSE 100 gained 1.5pc and Germany's DAX Index climbed 2.7pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 added 1.4pc.

"Everyone is waiting for Friday's meeting of the Federal Reserve," said John Plassard, a director at Louis Capital Markets in Geneva. "Until then, every bit of good news, such as the strong durable goods numbers, will support the markets."

Daimler, the maker of Mercedes trucks and luxury cars, rose 5.2pc and Fiat climbed 6.6pc as a gauge of European carmakers rallied the most of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600.

The gain in US durable goods orders reflected a rebound in production at vehicle makers following supply disruptions caused by the earthquake in Japan in March. Orders for motor vehicles and parts jumped 12pc, the most since 2003.

WPP jumped 7.4pc as first-half earnings beat analysts' estimates after sales in emerging markets grew 11pc from a year earlier. Profits, excluding the impact of interest and taxes, were well ahead of forecasts.

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