Saturday 20 January 2018

Europe stocks climb on earnings and miners' rally

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Reuters

A rally that's pushing miners toward a bull market and better-than-estimated corporate earnings is sending European stocks to a two-week high.

By mid-afternoon in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 2.4pc, or 141.87 points, to 6,064.87.

The afternoon leaders on the Dublin market included building materials group CRH, which rose 2.7pc to €22.82, while insurance group FBD increased 2.3pc to €6.50.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included recruitment group CPL Resources, which dropped 0.9pc to €5.89, while banana company Fyffes slipped 0.7pc to €1.36.

Elsewhere, carmakers posted the second-best Stoxx 600 performance, helped by a weakening euro. Lenders, among the most hurt by this year's rout, climbed 2.5pc as a group.

Credit Agricole jumped 14pc and Schneider Electric rallied 9.1pc after their earnings topped projections.

Commodity producers, up 24pc from last month's low, are leading the rebound in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, which gained 2pc by mid-afternoon in London.

Glencore rallied 10pc after saying it signed new loan commitments.

"I'd love to think this is the start of a lasting rebound but it's too early to tell," said Justin Urquhart Stewart, co-founder of Seven Investment Management in London. His firm oversees about $13bn.

"Any gains have been pretty fragile and short-lived lately, even though earnings haven't been all that bad and economic figures have been quite supportive.

"Confidence seems to only return for a few days."

Volatility has been on the rise since the start of the year amid a deepening oil rout, concern over global-growth prospects and dissipating faith in central-bank support.

Still, the Stoxx 600 is rising for the third time in four days, and a gauge of euro-area stock swings declined 7.2pc.

Every western-European national benchmark gained at least 1pc, with those in Norway and Sweden up 2.7pc or more.

Greece's ASE Index and Italy's FTSE MIB Index, this year's worst performers, rose at least 2pc.

Among other stocks active on corporate news, Norsk Hydro climbed 10pc after lowering its costs and posting a record quarterly production of bauxite and alumina. Marine Harvest added 5.2pc after its net income beat estimates.

RWE tumbled 13pc after suspending its dividend for holders of ordinary shares.

Societe BIC slid 7.9pc after saying its chief executive officer will retire and its chairman will take on his role. (Bloomberg)

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