Business Irish

Sunday 25 February 2018

Europe's bourses catch a breather

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


European stockmarkets finally caught a breather yesterday after days of being hammered by falls in China, sliding oil prices and concerns about economic momentum.

A rally in the European retail sector, led by strong seasonal updates from British companies, pulled the FTSEuroFirst 300 up from a three-month low. The index was up almost 1.1pc.

Oil remained under pressure and oil giant BP said it planned to cut 4,000 jobs as prices continue to hover around 12-year lows.

Ireland's ISEQ Overall Index rose 1.1pc, or 74.81 points, to close at 6,629.07.

Movers included Ryanair, which rose 2.1pc, or 31 cent, to €15.26. Barclays yesterday raised its price target for the airline to €20 from €16.80. Analysts at the bank predicted that the "best is yet to come" for the carrier.

Shares in Bank of Ireland edged 1.2pc higher to 32.5 cent, while packaging giant Smurfit Kappa was 1.2pc, or 28 cent higher, at €23.84.

The UK's FTSE-100 closed up 1pc at 5929.24 points, but it's still 17pc lower than a record high reached last April. Germany's DAX was 1.6pc higher, while France's CAC-40 gained 1.5pc.

In the UK, retailers were among the best performers. Monthly data from market researcher Kantar Worldpanel showed that number two chain Sainsbury grew sales and market share over Christmas, the only one of the top four in Britain to do so.

And while Kantar Worldpanel continued to show market leader Tesco losing share, the data nevertheless highlighted an improvement from the previous month.

Tesco shares surged 6.7pc, while Sainsbury rose 3.3pc, with Marks & Spencer advancing around 1pc.

Irish Independent

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