Sunday 18 March 2018

European shares up as investors take positives from US jobs data

In Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.36pc.
In Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.36pc.

Bloomberg/Colm Kelpie

European stocks advanced as investors focused on some better-than-expected US payroll data, while also speculating on possible further stimulus from China.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.36pc, or 22.82 points, to end the trading session at 6,363.84.

The leaders on the Dublin market included insurance group FBD, which increased 7pc to €6.80, while packaging giant Smurfit Kappa rose 2.4pc to €22.50.

Paddy Power/Betfair slipped 2pc to €125.10, while building materials group CRH fell 0.7pc to €24.78.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx 600 added 0.7pc to 341.8 at the close of trading. The equity benchmark rose as much as 1.3pc after a report showed US payrolls expanded more in February than forecast, while wages unexpectedly declined.

It subsequently gave up all gains before rebounding in late afternoon trade. The index posted a third weekly gain, its longest streak since October. It has recovered 13pc from a February 11 low, boosted by banks, commodity and energy shares.

A gauge of commodity producers posted the best performance of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, advancing for a sixth day, with Anglo American and Glencore jumping more than 11pc as raw-materials prices increased.

Energy companies rose for a seventh day as oil headed for its longest run of weekly gains since May. "The numbers show the US economy is still growing and should help bring back a positive mood," said Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank.

"These are really good numbers - maybe they were even too good. If they're too good, the interest rate hike comes back into play, but for the moment the numbers are positive and should speak well to the market."

Irish Independent

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