Business

Monday 21 May 2018

Gains on European bourses despite April services slowdown

Smurfit Kappa shares edged 0.76pc higher to €34.62, as the packaging giant said its first quarter profits jumped 22pc to €340m.
Smurfit Kappa shares edged 0.76pc higher to €34.62, as the packaging giant said its first quarter profits jumped 22pc to €340m.

Reuters

Benchmark European indices gained yesterday despite data that showed private sector activity in the region slowed in April for the third month in a row.

A composite purchasing managers' index published yesterday came in at 55.1, below the flash estimate of 55.2 and the lowest since January 2017.

The drag was due to services, where the gauge dropped more than initially estimated to 54.7. Readings above 50 signal expansion.

HS Markit, which compiled the PMI, said euro-region growth remains "solid," but noted that two forward-looking indicators - backlogs of work and business expectations - had declined.

The gains at European bourses came as Apple and other tech shares led the rally on Wall Street on Friday morning, helping it shrug off a choppy start following the April jobs report.

Apple jumped as much as 3.8pc to a record high of $183.65 after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway raised its stake in the iPhone maker.

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index jumped more than 1pc to close at 6,864. It was helped by a 2.7pc surge by Kerry Group after it delivered a trading update at its AGM this week. Its shares closed at €88.90.

Smurfit Kappa shares edged 0.76pc higher to €34.62, as the packaging giant said its first quarter profits jumped 22pc to €340m. It continued to rebuff a takeover approach from US firm International Paper.

The UK's FTSE-100 closed up 0.86pc. Germany's DAX was 1pc higher. France's CAC-40 was up 0.26pc.

Irish Independent

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