ISEQ breaks barrier while Italy's on a high
European shares inched higher yesterday, with blue chips in Milan taking the lead after better than expected Italian growth helped shrug off political worries.
Italy's economy rose 0.4pc in the first quarter thanks to firm domestic demand, the statistics bureau said, sharply raising a preliminary estimate and improving prospects for the year.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.46pc, while Italy's FTSE MIB rose 1pc as it extended gains after the GDP data release. The data prompted renewed interest in Italian stocks after a sell-off earlier this week when investors were rattled by worries over early autumn elections in the Eurozone country and the rescue of two ailing regional banks.
"The data is better than expected. It's good news," said Prometeia economist Stefania Tomasini. "The recovery is helped by an acceleration of household consumption while the slowdown to investment was a disappointment." Here, the ISEQ Overall Index was 1.3pc higher at 7,039.23, smashing through the 7,000 barrier for the first time since mid-May.
Shares in food group Aryzta jumped 6.3pc in Dublin to €29.10, continuing their see-saw action as the embattled group works to restructure. The shares have their primary listing in Zurich.
Paddy Power Betfair rose 4.6pc to €97.55, while ferry operator Irish Continental was 3.5pc to €5.50. Shares in Green REIT advanced 1.9pc to €1.47. There were few decliners in Dublin yesterday.
The UK's FTSE-100 was 0.3pc higher. France's CAC-40 rose 0.6pc and Germany's DAX was up 0.4pc. Nokia shares rose 2.6pc, adding to their gains since last week's resolution of a patent dispute with Apple.
Fiat Chrysler added 5pc after its car sales in the United States exceeded expectations.
Additional reporting by Reuters