Thursday 26 April 2018

Iseq ekes out gain on mixed day for European stock markets

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

Weak corporate results weighed on European shares yesterday, while choppy trading in banking shares took away some of the sector's recent gains.

Earnings disappointments from the likes of Novo Nordisk soured the mood, with the stock down 15pc, the worst performance across the STOXX 600 on the day.

Ireland's Iseq Overall Index edged slightly higher, closing up 0.18pc at 5,932.18.

It was buoyed by shares in Bank of Ireland, which entered the weekend up 1.5pc after issuing what Davy Stockbrokers described as a "reassuring" update.

Other Irish shares on the move included those in Permanent tsb, which rose 4.2pc to €2.48. Green REIT was up 1.4pc at €1.39 and Ryanair advanced 1.6pc to €12.72 on the back of a solid third-quarter report from Aer Lingus owner IAG. Shares in IAG soared almost 6pc higher to £4.38.

The UK's FTSE-100 ended the session 0.1pc higher. Germany's DAX fell 0.2pc, and France's CAC-40 rose 0.3pc.

Investors have shown little tolerance for earnings disappointments in recent weeks.

Banks, among the most beaten down sectors in Europe this year, have offered some support to regional markets this week following a strong set of results from bellwethers which included a surprise profit at Deutsche Bank.

Financials are the best performing sector in Europe this month and are no longer the year's worst performers, which are now telecoms stocks. BNP rose 0.9pc after the French bank said it was planning more cost savings to offset the squeeze on revenue from low interest rates.

"Banks have been doing well on positive earnings, and on the fact that higher bond yields, and especially a steeper yield curve, are helpful for the sector," said Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis.


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