Saturday 16 December 2017

Markets buoyed as German business confidence soars

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

AS German business confidence soared to its highest level since April 2012, stock markets around Europe were largely buoyed.

The Ifo institute's German business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, increased to 109.3 this month from 107.4 in October.

That beat economists' forecast for a gain to 107.7.

"The German business confidence data supports the view that economic growth could increase going into the new year," said Peter Garnry, an equity strategist at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen. "Stocks are moving up a lot which is being confirmed for the most part by positive data which creates a momentum effect."

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index nudged 0.23pc, or 10.27 points ahead, to enter the weekend at 4,441.96.

There was more bad news for Paddy Power, after shares in the gambling group tumbled earlier this week on the back of a profit warning. The shares fell 4.1pc to €55.01 after rival William Hill replaced it as one of Citigroup's most-preferred stocks.

There was a better result for shares in packaging group Smurfit Kappa. They jumped 3.6pc, or 62.5 cent, to €17.90, regaining a chunk of ground lost in previous days.

Shares in Independent News & Media also continued to gain after it issued details of its capital raising. The shares rose 6.4pc to just under 15 cent yesterday.

Travel software firm Datalex also did well. Its shares added 5.5pc, or 6 cent, to €1.16.

Insulation group Kingspan fell 2.4pc to €12.69, while shares in miner Kenmare Resources declined 2.5pc to 23 cent, the lowest level in about three years.

National benchmark indices rose in 13 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 slid 0.1pc. Germany's DAX gained 0.3pc. France's CAC 40 added 0.6pc.

Whitbread climbed 3pc to 3,483 pence. JPMorgan Chase raised its recommendation on the owner of Premier Inn budget hotels to overweight from neutral.

Bankia, the Spanish lender that posted a record €19bn loss in 2012, jumped 5.8pc to 95.6 cent after chairman Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri said he didn't sense the government has "any rush at all" to sell its stake in the nationalised lender.

Irish Independent

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