Sunday 18 February 2018

Smurfit Kappa and Ryanair lead gains on Irish exchange

Gary McGann, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Group. Photo: Mark Condren
Gary McGann, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Group. Photo: Mark Condren

EUROPEAN stocks were steady yesterday afternoon while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures signalled the gauge will rebound after its biggest drop in three weeks.

S&P 500 futures gained 0.2pc in New York as the Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2pc after dropping as much as 0.4pc.

Technology shares retreated in Asia after Twitter plunged on Tuesday and Alibaba Group Holding filed for a US initial public offering.

In Europe, disappointing earnings from car-maker Fiat to French financial services company Societe Generale – which missed estimates and German factory orders – offset a rally in Credit Agricole.

Credit Agricole – the largest retail banking group in France and second largest in Europe – gained 5pc after saying first-quarter profit surged 85pc. But Fiat tumbled 8.4pc and Societe Generale slid 0.9pc.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 1.5pc.

"It seems we're now entering a phase where there is a bigger difference between those companies delivering good numbers and bad numbers," said Espen Furnes, of Storebrand Asset Management in Oslo.

"The market seems to be less forgiving with companies not delivering as expected. We're probably going to see a further dispersion in performance on a stock-to-stock basis. Financial markets need to prepare for a prolonged period of unrest in Ukraine."

Back home at the Irish Stock Exchange shares in Smurfit Kappa rose by more than 3pc by lunchtime to €16.85, while low-fares carrier Ryanair saw a 1.42pc rise to €6.86 and bookmakers Paddy Power had a 1pc increase to €58.77.

Losers on the day included Permanent Tsb, which saw its share price drop by almost 4pc, followed by Providence Resources, Fastnet Oil and Gas, and Allied Irish Banks.


Building materials business CRH recorded a 3pc fall to €20.50 despite earlier saying that like-for-like revenues in its European businesses were up 10pc in the first four months compared with last year.

In London, UK stocks pared their decline as Legal & General Group climbed 3pc, offsetting losses by a gauge of banks after HSBC reported lower profit.

HSBC – Europe's largest bank – fell 0.6pc after it said first-quarter profit dropped 20pc. Barclays declined 0.9pc after Citigroup said the lender may push back a profitability target by a year.

The FTSE 100 Index retreated 1.74 points, or less than 0.1pc, to 6,796.82 around lunchtime in London, paring a drop of as much as 0.4pc.


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