Thursday 22 February 2018

Euro stocks climb on manufacturing data

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

EUROPEAN stocks climbed the most in a month yesterday after a gauge of euro-area manufacturing rose more than forecast.

Markets responded to new data which showed euro-area factory output grew at a faster pace in December than expected, led by Germany.

National benchmark indexes gained in 14 out of 18 western European markets, with Irish stocks following the trend. The ISEQ Overall Index closed up 40.29 points, or 0.93pc, to 4,375.89 as a host of raw materials providers gained. The index is up 29pc in the year to date, one of the best-performing in Europe.

Raw materials were the order of the day, with everyone from food to building materials suppliers and mining companies recording gains.

Food group Donegal Investments topped the leaderboard, adding 6pc to €6.20. It was followed by fruit and vegetable supplier Total Produce, which closed up 5pc to 85c. Building materials supplier CRH added 4pc to €17.55.


Both of the stock exchange's listed real-estate trusts rose -- newly listed Hibernia REIT was up 1pc to €1.26 while Green REIT grew 1pc to €1.26.

Petroneft Resources saw the largest decline, down 15pc to 5c. Permanent TSB followed, down 7pc to 4c, while INM shed 7pc to 11c.

In Britain, the FTSE 100 advanced 1.2pc while France's CAC 40 rose 1.5pc and Germany's DAX rallied 2pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index had advanced 1.1pc to 312.99 by 2:30pm in London; all 19 groups in the index rose. A gauge of construction and material companies posted the biggest gain, adding 2.4pc.

RSA dropped 2.7pc to 90 pence. The stock tumbled to its lowest price in more than eight years on Friday after the company announced it was forced to pour another £135m into its troubled Irish division, threatening its dividend and prompting the resignation of its chief executive.

The company is now fighting to keep its 'A' credit rating and may be mulling over a sale of its emerging market assets -- or even facing a takeover, according to analyst speculation.

Irish Independent

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