Friday 24 January 2020

Shares at five-year high in Europe

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The ISEQ index of Irish shares closed up yesterday at 3,975, up 7.63 points yesterday as it continues to hover around levels not seen consistently since 2008.

Across Europe shares surged to a five-year closing high yesterday lifted by strong corporate earning and the ongoing hunt for investment yields.

In Dublin CRH was the most active name traded on the stock exchange and ended the session up 1.32pc at €16.52.

Aer Lingus closed up 3.6pc at €7.80 while Ryanair was little changed at €6.14.

The banks were mixed too with AIB down 4.29pc to 0.07 cents share but Bank of Ireland shares were flat.

Shares in current takeover target Elan were down 1.4pc yesterday at €8.71 each in Dublin after the company announced on Monday it agreed a $1bn deal to buy a share of drug rights owned by drug maker Theravance, a deal that may make Elan less attractive to its own stalkers Royalty Pharma.

Elsewhere Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo, German mail company Deutsche Post and French industrial conglomerate EADS were among top gainers after reporting better-than expected-profits, overshadowing some cautious operational numbers.

Profits are being boosted despite the sluggish euro-area economy.

So far this earnings season European companies have performed better on earnings than on overall sales.

Trend

The same trend has already been seen in the US, where 72pc of companies have met or beaten consensus on earnings and only 28pc on sales, according to Reuters data.

"The ability of the corporates to still beat expectations on earnings shows that there is resilience and cost control and is a reason for the momentum," said Lorne Baring, managing director at B Capital.

Influential US investor David Tepper said in an interview with CNBC yesterday that he was still bullish on stocks thanks to the continued monetary stimulus from the US Federal Reserve.

Tepper's comments, along with data forecasting an acceleration in US chain stores sales in May, helped US stocks rise and the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index end 0.5pc higher at 1,236.62 points, a closing high not seen since mid-2008.

Germany's Dax rose 0.7pc to 8,339.11 points, a new all-time closing high, while the eurozone Euro STOXX 50 added 0.7pc to 2,795.63, a closing level not seen since July 2011.

Both indexes were roughly 0.2pc and 0.3pc off intra-day highs hit last week, respectively.

Last night Wall Street stocks rose to record highs too and a stronger dollar curbed the appetite for oil and gold. (Additional reporting Reuters)

Irish Independent

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