Sunday 25 February 2018

Rising oil stocks drag up markets across Europe

Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

The Iseq overall index of Irish shares was trading up 0.48pc on Wednesday at 6,649.52, a rise of 31.95 points.

It was a good day for Irish exploration stocks, with Providence Resources rising 6.6pc, while Kenmare Resources continued its strong week with gains of 5.9pc.

Irish agri-food group was up by 2.9pc, while Bank of Ireland stocks were up by 2.5pc.

The biggest losers of the day were financial firms First Derivatives and IFG, who lost 4.7pc and 4.2pc respectively.

Troubled food group Aryzta suffered further losses of 3.5pc as investors continued to flee from the stock following disappointing earning results earlier this week.

European shares rose on Wednesday, boosted by basic resource and oil stocks, while French aeroplane seat-maker Zodiac fell more than 13pc after its latest profit warning.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 0.2pc in early trading, with the market focused on potentially divisive elections in the Netherlands and a US federal reserve policy meeting that could signal how much monetary tightening to expect during the remainder of the year.

A recovery in oil prices after a surprise US crude stockpile drawdown eased worries about a supply glut spurred a rally in basic resources stocks with the sector up 2pc, followed by major European oil-related stocks which rose 1.3pc.

British drugmaker Hikma was up 7.7pc after it posted a 2.4pc rise in full-year operating profit on growth in its injectables and branded business, which offset weakness in its generic drugs.

Zodiac was the biggest European faller, after it warned on profit after the close on Tuesday. The company, which engine-maker Safran is seeking to acquire, said it sees full-year operating income falling 10pc against a previous forecast of a 10pc to 20pc rise.

Swedish fashion retailer H&M was among the biggest fallers, with its shares down 4.8pc after it posted its first monthly sales drop in four years.

The Europe-wide retail sector index was the worst-performing, down 0.6pc, with Zara owner Inditex also down 1.3pc after it posted a 10pc rise in profit for 2016.

German utility E.ON fell 3.6pc after it posted a record €16bn loss due to impairments on its former power plant unit Uniper which it spun off last year.

In the US, shares in Snapchat hit a fresh low on Wednesday, falling as much as 2.6pc before clawing back some losses in trading as analysts questioned the company's prospects.

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