Business Irish

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Takeover target Smurfit Kappa closes the week at €36 a share

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Stock image
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

A strong jobs report out of the US boosted European shares yesterday after a sluggish start to trading, while US tariffs on steel and aluminium hit steel-makers.

It was strong wage growth last month that fanned speculation of faster rate rises in the United States, causing a rout in the bond market and hammering world equities.

But the jobs report for February showed much slower than expected wage growth, soothing investors who had been concerned about a faster rate of inflation.

The jobs report sent stocks higher across Europe as the slowdown in wage gains pointed to inflation rising only gradually. The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.4pc by the close.

"The monthly employment report delivered a number of surprises, many of them running contra to historic performances during the late stages of an economic expansion," said BNY Mellon analysts.

Interest-rate sensitive high dividend-paying stocks such as Unilever, Nestle, and British American Tobacco were among the top boosts to the STOXX 600.

A number of corporate updates were badly received by investors, however, including French media giant Lagardere. At home the ISEQ closed down but International Paper's takeover target Smurfit Kappa closed up 0.33pc on the day at €36 a share - having started the week at €28.62 a share.

That close was close to the €36.46 cash-and-paper bid price.

Irish Independent

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