Saturday 24 March 2018

European stocks rise as markets react to latest data from US

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

MOST European stocks rose yesterday as investors looked to US industrial data to gauge the strength of the world's largest economy.

Markets reacted to new US statistics which showed that industrial production cooled in October amid a 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government. Output fell 0.1pc last month, missing the median economist forecast for growth of 0.2pc, after gaining a revised 0.7pc in September. A separate report showed manufacturing in the New York region unexpectedly contracted in November for the first time since May.

"The real economy in the US has maybe not responded as well as the Fed would have hoped," said equities trader Michael Morris. "Inequality, real wage and income stagnation will remain tough challenges."

National benchmark indexes climbed in 11 of 18 western European markets. France's CAC 40 gained 0.2pc, the UK's FTSE 100 rose 0.4pc and Germany's DAX added 0.2pc.

The Stoxx 600 added 0.2pc to 323 at the close of trading, with about three stocks rising for every two that fell. The benchmark gauge rallied the most in almost a month on Thursday as Fed chairman nominee Janet Yellen said she is committed to promoting a strong US economic recovery and will ensure monetary stimulus isn't removed too soon.

Irish stocks ignored the upward European trend. The ISEQ Overall Index had lost 11.30 points, or 0.25pc, to 4,490.80 by close of business.

Mining company Ovoca Gold saw the largest percentage losses of the day, down 17pc to 10c. INM followed, shedding 9pc to 10c, while AIB sank 3pc to 12c.

The bank released an interim management statement yesterday that showed the pace of new mortgage arrears cases had slowed "significantly" and that it was close to securing European Commission approval of its restructuring plan, a legacy from the 2010 bank guarantee.

Ryanair dipped 2pc to €5.53. The carrier's share price is still more than €1 off its peak value after its first profit warning in years at the end of the summer.

Ormonde Mining saw the biggest gains, up 16pc to 6c. Newry-based financial technology firm First Derivatives had a similarly good day, adding 5pc to €12.40. Despite Ryanair's downward losses, Aer Lingus rose 1pc to €1.40.

In the UK, Shell and Tullow Oil rose at least 1pc each, tracking gains in European oil and gas stocks. In Germany, Lufthansa climbed 1.7pc to €15.19.

Irish Independent

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