Wednesday 16 January 2019

Norwegian soars as Syria shift lifts markets

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell


Shares in Aer Lingus owner IAG fell 1.1pc after the airline said it was considering making an offer for low-cost carrier Norwegian.

Norwegian's shares, which are the most-shorted among European airlines, rose 47pc on the bid news.

European shares generally rose on Thursday alongside a relief rally across global markets after US President Trump signalled that military strikes in Syria may not be imminent.

The Iseq index was up almost 1pc at 6641.22.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed up 0.7pc after a negative start as sentiment improved during the day and Wall Street bounced higher with an easing of nerves over a confrontation between the US and Russia in Syria.

"We saw global risk appetite improve markedly today, as Donald Trump stepped back from the brink on the topic of Syria," said IG market analyst Joshua Mahony.

That was after President Trump toned down his threats of a swift military strike on Syria.

Shares in Sulzer rallied 19.5pc after the Swiss pumpmaker said it freed itself of US sanctions after authorities approved its buyback of shares that has reduced to less than 50pc the stake of Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of holding company Renova.

Leaving aside geopolitical concerns, merger and acquisition headlines animated the session.

As well as IAG's move, Micro Focus surged 7.5pc on a report that hedge fund Elliott Management had taken a stake in the UK software firm.

Firstgroup spiked on news it rejected a takeover approach from Apollo, while Playtech rose 5.7pc after it agreed to buy Italian betting firm Snaitech.

Irish Independent

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