European shares hit their highest level in almost four months
European shares rose to their highest level in nearly four months yesterday, helped by some well-received earnings updates. The pan-European STOXX600 rose almost 0.4pc and was set for its fifth straight week of gains, as were world stocks.
Germany's DAX index climbed further having hit an all-time high in the previous session, while Britain's FTSE eased, also after a record close on Thursday.
"We're seeing positive economic news even in the midst of so-called geopolitical risk. I think investors are generally more optimistic right now," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, referring to strong corporate earnings.
"Earnings in the second quarter were very positive, and looking beyond the impact of hurricanes, it seems like there's improved fundamentals in the US and Europe."
The president of Germany's Bundesbank, Jens Weidmann, said in Washington DC yesterday that there was no more need for the European Central Bank to continue providing monetary stimulus to the eurozone through bond purchases. In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index was among yesterday's gainers, edging 0.44pc higher towards the close, at 6,850.41.
Shares in the move included CRH, which had added almost 1.5pc shortly before the close as it headed into the weekend at €31.09.
Cairn Homes was virtually unchanged at €1.77 as it said it had received the planning go-ahead for some of its building projects.
Shares in Independent News & Media were 7.4pc lower near the close after the group confirmed on Thursday evening that chief executive Robert Pitt had resigned from the company and had reached a settlement with the group.
The UK's FTSE-100 was 0.11pc near the close, while Germany's DAX was holding on to a 0.22pc gain late in the session. France's CAC-40 was flat.