Friday 22 February 2019

German utilities boost European shares

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE). Photo: Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE). Photo: Reuters


European shares hit their highest level in almost two weeks yesterday, boosted by gains among German utilities after the sector's leading players announced a major overhaul of the industry.

Shares in utilities in other countries rose on optimism for further M&A in the sector.

The STOXX utility index rose 1.1pc to lead sectoral gainers in Europe, helping the pan-European STOXX 600 index to close up 0.2pc at its highest since February 28.

The car sector index rose 0.4pc, brushing off a tweet by US President Donald Trump in which he threatened to impose taxes on European vehicles imported into the United States if the EU retaliates in a row over steel tariffs.

There was little economic data during the session and investors were awaiting US inflation data to assess how fast the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year. In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index was flat at 6,738.97.

In Switzerland, shares in embattled Swiss-Irish baked goods group Aryzta fell 2.3pc after it released interim results that underline the challenges still facing the group as it restructures the business.

Forecourt retailer Applegreen was up 1.8pc at €5.60 ahead of its results today. Shares in Permanent TSB were down 3.5pc at €1.96. AIB was 2.9pc lower at €4.91.

The UK's FTSE-100 ended the session 0.1pc lower. France's CAC-40 was flat, and Germany's DAX fell 0.58pc.

In the UK, takeaway company Just Eat fell 4.2pc, after Deutsche Bank cut its rating to 'sell'.

"Just Eat is expanding into food takeaway delivery, an already crowded market, versus the company's existing position as an order aggregation platform," Deutsche Bank analysts said.

Irish Independent

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