Business Irish

Thursday 22 March 2018

European markets get bounce from positive US retail figures

Traders and clerks react on the floor of the London Metal Exchange. Photo: Reuters
Traders and clerks react on the floor of the London Metal Exchange. Photo: Reuters

European shares rebounded from losses earlier in yesterday's session as strong US retail sales data buoyed markets, although satellite company Eutelsat plunged nearly 30pc after slashing its outlook.

The US dollar surged to a more than two-week high against a basket of currencies following stronger-than-expected US economic data, putting pressure on oil prices, which fell after three days of gains.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index gained 0.6pc, rebounding from losses earlier in the session after the US retail sales report.

"The strong US data has lifted European markets, and we are fairly bullish in the medium term," said MB Capital trader Rick Jones.

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index ended the session 0.41pc lower at 6,116.76.

Most shares were in decline, including Bank of Ireland, which shed 1.6pc to 24 cent. Drinks maker C&C shed some of the gains it made on Thursday when it rose on the back of full-year results. It fell 1.3pc yesterday to end the week at €3.99. Insulation maker Kingspan was 1.7pc lower at €23.20, while packaging group Smurfit Kappa edged almost 1pc higher to €24.15.

The UK's FTSE-100 edged 0.56pc higher, while France's CAC-40 was up 0.6pc. Germany's DAX rose almost 1pc.

In the UK, a 4.2pc fall in satellite communications company Inmarsat hampered gains after an outlook cut from sector peer Eutelsat sent its shares more than 27pc lower. Inmarsat stock is down over 21pc since it cut its own full-year outlook on May 5.

Bottling firm Coca-Cola HBC also fell, down 3.5pc after adverse currency movements hit its revenue, although underlying trends improved in its established emerging markets. It said its Irish business remains challenging, and sales here fell. Broadcaster ITV was also among the top fallers, down 2.4pc.


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