Tuesday 25 July 2017

Positive earnings prompt shares rebound

A banner for American International Group Inc (AIG) hangs on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange, in New York
A banner for American International Group Inc (AIG) hangs on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange, in New York

Ellie Donnelly

A raft of well-received updates and a recovery in resources stocks helped European shares rebound from the previous session's slight losses, ending at fresh 21-month highs.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.45pc while France's CAC 40 index gained 0.3pc, recouping some of the losses seen Monday following Emmanuel Macron's presidential election victory.

More than halfway into the first-quarter results season, earnings for European firms have been strong overall, with major eurozone blue-chip firms seeing average earnings growth of around 20pc, according to research from Thomson Reuters.

In Dublin, financial services provider IFG was among the main gainers yesterday, after it reported first quarter financial results - with shares up 2.79pc to €1.8 each. The Iseq index of Irish shares was up almost half a per cent at 7,140.56.

"Yesterday was almost a realisation that, OK, we've cleared one hurdle but it's not like it's plain sailing from here ... But today it's looking good - the weak euro vs the dollar is helping the DAX," Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said, referring to Germany's index, which rose 0.4pc to a record high.

Elsewhere a rebound in basic resources stocks and gains among energy firms also helped support the market, with miners up after a rise in the underlying price of copper.

Shares in Belgian materials group Umicore rose 3.3pc, supported by a positive broker note from Berenberg whose analysts upped their target price for the stock. Bord Gáis Energy owner Centrica came under pressure after UK Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to cap energy prices if re-elected in June, with shares down 1.2pc.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Irish Independent

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