Friday 23 February 2018

Macron triumph lifts European stocks

French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron


European stocks headed for their biggest rise in two months yesterday as investors snapped up cut-price retail and tech stocks and France's markets cheered a parliamentary majority for pro-business President Emmanuel Macron.

Risk was back in vogue and the Nasdaq was expected to regain 0.7pc of the near 3.5pc it has lost over the last couple of weeks as investors have top-sliced the likes of Apple, Amazon and Alphabet which have been on a tear all year.

Europe's banks also drove higher following broker upgrades for Credit Suisse, while there was little sign of tension for the sector or for the pound or euro as formal Brexit negotiations kicked off in Brussels.

Projections showing Mr Macron had won a commanding majority in France's weekend vote saw Paris stocks make a 1.1pc gain as the country's bonds also outperformed in fixed income markets.

"We expect the Macron reforms to transform France like the Thatcher reforms had cured the erstwhile sick man of Europe, the United Kingdom, some 35 years ago," said Berenberg European economist Holger Schmieding.

"And like the 'Agenda 2010' reforms had turned Germany from one of the weakest into one of the strongest economies in Europe almost 15 years ago."

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index rose almost 0.7pc to 7,063.32. Total Produce regained much of the ground it lost on Friday, adding 4.5pc to close at €2.09.

Shares in Bank of Ireland were 2.2pc higher at 23 cent and CRH rose 1.4pc to €32.71.

The UK's FTSE|-100 was up 0.8pc. Germany's DAX was 1.07pc higher and France's CAC-40 was 0.9pc ahead for the session.

Irish Independent

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