Business World

Friday 23 February 2018

European stockmarkets advance, boosted by US jobs numbers

The ISEQ Overall Index mirrored gains made by other European bourses
The ISEQ Overall Index mirrored gains made by other European bourses


European bourses rose yesterday, helped by solid earnings from companies including cement-making group LafargeHolcim. But Ulster Bank owner Royal Bank of Scotland slumped after weak results.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended the session 1.1pc higher, extending gains after better-than-expected US jobs data, although the index posted its first week of declines in four.

LafargeHolcim - a peer of Irish firm CRH - rose 5pc after it reaffirmed its guidance and beat quarterly profit forecasts. "LafargeHolcim results were, for once, a positive surprise, supported by the recent recovery in the important markets of India and Mexico as well as some European countries," Baader Helvea analysts said.

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index mirrored gains made by other European bourses.

It gained 1.77pc to 5,857.90.

Shares in Bank of Ireland, which surged on Thursday following the Bank of England's stimulus plans, added another 1.6pc, to close at 18 cent. Ryanair gained 3pc to enter the weekend at €12.04, while CRH rose 1.1pc to €27.02. Packaging giant Smurfit Kappa was 2.3pc higher at €20.50.

Kerry Group was flat at €77, a day after it released interim results that underlined the impact of currency swings.

The UK's FTSE-100 was 0.8pc higher, while France's CAC-40 rose 1.5pc. Germany's DAX added 1.36pc.

Hugo Boss jumped 7.4pc after the German fashion house beat quarterly operating profit forecasts and chief executive Mark Langer said he would close about 20 more stores as a cost-cutting drive appears to be paying off.

Royal Bank of Scotland fell 7.2pc amid widening first-half losses.

It scrapped plans to turn its Williams & Glyn unit into a standalone bank, as Britain faces economic instability due to Brexit.

Irish Independent

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