Monday 23 April 2018

European stocks: Shares rise amid positive sentiment

Pfizer has called off its attempts to buy Astrazeneca
Pfizer has called off its attempts to buy Astrazeneca

European stocks rose for a fifth day, extending their highest level since January 2008, as data in the US showed durable-goods orders unexpectedly increased.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2pc to 344.47 at the close of trading for its longest winning streak since April. The gauge has risen 8.5pc from this year's low on February 4 as mergers and acquisitions activity increased and as European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said policy makers are ready to ease monetary policy.

"We had some weak US data due to the harsh winter and now everyone is expecting a recovery in spring and summer and a bounce back," said Raimund Saxinger, a fund manager at Frankfurt-Trust Investment. "People want to see confirmation of that."

Durable goods orders in the US rose 0.8pc in April after a revised 3.6pc increase in March. Economists had estimated a 0.7pc drop for April.

In Ireland, the Overall ISEQ Index added 0.32pc, or 15.85 points, to end the day at 4,896.40. Movers included Bulmers maker C&C, whose shares advanced 2pc, or 9 cent, to €4.41. Fyffes, which plans to merge with Chiquita, rose 1.8pc, or 2c, to €1.14.

Bank of Ireland shed 1pc to 28 cent.

In the UK, shares in food group Greencore rose 3.4pc to £2.90, while Grafton Group added 2.2pc to £5.85.

National benchmark indices advanced in 13 of the 18 western-European markets yesterday. France's CAC 40 gained 0.1pc. Germany's DAX added 0.5pc and the UK's FTSE 100 increased 0.4pc.

AstraZeneca fell 1.8pc to £42.52. Pfizer, the largest US drugmaker, ended its six-month effort to buy the UK company.

Lloyds rose 1.6pc to 77.2p after saying it will sell a 25pc stake in its TSB consumer bank in a public offering next month.

Accor rose 1.3pc to €38 after saying it will buy hotels in the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland for €900m. The purchase will contribute to earnings before interest and taxes this year.

Irish Independent

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