Saturday 21 September 2019

Draghi's promises help boost European stocks

European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi
European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi

Mario Draghi's reiteration that the European Central Bank is ready to act to support the Eurozone economy helped European stocks extend a rally that has recouped about half the losses from a summer rout, while commodity producers continued their rebound.

By mid-afternoon in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.31pc, or 19.89 points, to 6,524.43.

The leaders on the Dublin market included packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, which was up 1.9pc to €25.74 by mid-afternoon. Fruit company Fyffes increased 1.6pc to €1.57.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included Paddy Power, down 0.4pc to €105.45, while insulation group Kingspan slipped 2.4pc to €21.65.

Elsewhere, Glencore led miners to the best performance of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, adding 8.3pc after selling a share of its future silver output, while also maintaining its full-year profit forecast. ING Groep gained 3.5pc after the Dutch lender reported a 14pc rise in third-quarter profit. Marks & Spencer Group rose 3.5pc after first-half earnings beat analyst estimates and it raised its profitability forecast.

The Stoxx 600 advanced 1pc to 381.95 by 2:39 pm in London. The level of monetary policy accommodation provided by the ECB will be re-examined in December, Mr Draghi said late on Tuesday, reinforcing a signal first given on October 22. Falling energy prices and slowing global trade are making it harder for the central bank to meet its inflation target of just under 2pc. The Stoxx 600 has climbed 13pc since a September 29 low, including last month's best gain since 2009.

"Draghi's comments are clearly supportive in the short term and earnings season so far has been reasonable although expectations weren't high," said David Hussey, head of European equities at Manulife Asset Management in London.

"European equities still look reasonable value assuming recovery continues and margins can expand back to previous levels."

Among miners, still the worst-performing industry group on the Stoxx 600 this year, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto added more than 2.8pc.

"What's been driving the market and what will continue for a while longer is a bit of repositioning," said George Godber, a fund manager at Miton Group in London. "That's why stocks that were doing poorly are now rising the most."

Elsewhere, Volkswagen slid 8.7pc after it said it found faulty emissions readings for the first time in petrol-powered vehicles, with an internal probe showing 800,000 cars had "unexplained inconsistencies" concerning their carbon-dioxide output.

Porsche slumped 7.9pc after a financing arm of the company was said to have pulled a $505m asset-backed bond deal on Tuesday after US regulators said they were expanding their probe into emissions-cheating software. (Bloomberg)

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