Sunday 25 February 2018

Europe galvanised by takeovers

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

EUROPEAN stocks advanced yesterday amid takeovers by healthcare companies and better-than-forecast industrial output in China.

Irish shares also increased, with the ISEQ Overall Index climbing 0.8pc to 35.28 points to end the first day's trading of the week at 4472.37.

The big news in the markets was the slump in insurer RSA amid the probe into activities at its unit here, which saw three executives suspended.

It was down 10.5pc, in volume eight times its 90-day average, on news it is probing losses and premiums at its Irish unit stretching back at least two years after an internal audit triggered the group's second profit warning in a week.

At home, the leaders included Kingspan, which closed up 1.3pc to €13.17 after it said pace of sales "progressed solidly" during the third quarter.

The company added that there's "clear evidence" of a recovery in certain sectors of UK construction markets.

Other leaders included Aryzta, which increased 2.6pc to €55.49, and CRH, up 1.6pc to €18.58.

On the other side of the board, Aer Lingus was down 0.4pc to €1.42, while bookmakers Paddy Power slipped 0.4pc to €61.60. Exploration firm Providence fell 2.4pc to €3.55.

In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3pc to 323.57 at the close of trading in London, as three shares advanced for each one that fell.

The benchmark measure gained for five straight weeks, trading near its highest valuation since 2009 as the European Central Bank unexpectedly cut its key interest rate and the Federal Reserve maintained bond purchases.

National benchmark indices climbed in all of the western European markets, except Iceland and Greece.

The UK's FTSE 100 Index and Germany's DAX added 0.3pc, while France's CAC 40 advanced 0.7pc.

In China, industrial production jumped 10.3pc in October from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

British Sky Broadcasting Group plunged the most in five years after BT Group won the rights to broadcast UEFA Champions League and Europa League soccer games.

Irish Independent

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