Saturday 21 April 2018

Europe stocks up the most in six weeks

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the opening bell in New York
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the opening bell in New York
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

European stocks jumped the most in six weeks as the euro slid and investors assessed the implications of a possible Federal Reserve interest rate increase as early as June.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 2pc, or 126.05 points, to end the trading session at 6,388.08.

The leaders on the Dublin market included speciality baker Aryzta, which increased 4pc to €36.57, while Paddy Power Betfair increased 2.9pc to €116.45.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included fruit company Fyffes, which fell 1.6pc to €1.56, while insurance group FBD dropped 0.6pc to €6.43.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx 600 added 2.2pc to 344.12 at the close of trading.

All industry groups climbed, with insurers and banks leading. The euro has dropped close to a two-month low against the dollar amid an increasing probability of higher borrowing costs in the US this year, favouring European companies that export overseas.

The region's firms generate about half their sales abroad, more than the US and Japan, according to Morgan Stanley.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker said late on Monday that he could see two to three rate increases in 2016 and that if the US economy shows sufficient strength, a June raise would be appropriate.

San Francisco Fed President John Williams earlier said two to three hikes this year are "about right".

"A rise in the dollar would be a big help for European stocks," said Heinz-Gerd Sonnenschein, a strategist at Deutsche Postbank in Bonn, Germany.

"People are testing whether the market has found a bottom, and there's plenty of money sitting on the sidelines. Maybe investors are finally ready to get back in."

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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