Stocks rise as growth picks up in China

National benchmark indexes advanced in all of the 18 western European markets

European stocks rose for a seventh day, their longest winning streak this year, as China’s economic growth accelerated for the first time in three quarters.

National benchmark indexes advanced in all of the 18 western European markets. The UK’s FTSE 100 rallied 0.7 per cent, while France’s CAC 40 climbed 1.1 per cent. Germany’s DAX added 0.6 per cent.

In Dublin, the Iseq closed up 0.88 per cent at 4,392.40 in what was described as a "busy day" by traders.

Independent News & Media enjoyed another strong day of trading, finishing up 21.7 per cent at 11.2 cent. The media group, in which wealthy businessman Denis O'Brien is the biggest shareholder, is up 60 per cent in the past five days following a recent trading statement that was viewed by analysts as being more optimistic and a restructuring of the business. Davy upgraded INM this week to outperform.

Ryanair had another good day, up 2.4 per cent at €6.43 but its Irish rival Aer Lingus closed 1.17 per cent lower at €1.433. Traders said uncertainty over the pension issue at Aer Lingus was weighing on the stock.


Food group Kerry gained 2.25 per cent to close at €45.46.

Bank of Ireland shed some of the gains of recent days, down 0.4 per cent at 26.2 cent. Volumes were strong with traders attributing the downward move to profit taking.

UK stocks rose for a seventh day, their longest rally since May, as a report showed that China's economy accelerated for the first time in three quarters. Prudential Plc, which generated 32 per cent of its operating income from Asia last year, climbed to its highest price since at least 1988. William Hill Plc lost 3.2 per cent after JPMorgan Chase and Co lowered its rating on the bookmaker. Anglo American Plc declined 1.4 per cent after saying that production at its Kumba Iron Ore Ltd. unit fell.

The FTSE 100 Index added 46.42 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 6,622.58 at the close in London. The equity benchmark has advanced 2.1 per cent this week as US president Barack Obama signed into law a measure extending the government's borrowing authority until early 2014 and ending a shutdown that started on October 1st.

The broader FTSE All-Share Index also rose 0.8 per cent.

Prudential rose 4.1 per cent to 1,264 pence. Asia's contribution to the operating income of the UK's biggest insurer by market value increased in 2011 and 2012. Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc climbed 3.4 per cent to 4,502 pence, as makers of household goods climbed on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. William Hill lost 3.2 per cent to 403.5 pence.

Schindler Holding AG jumped 4.3 per cent after the Swiss elevator maker announced a share buyback. Cap Gemini SA climbed to six-year high after saying it will repurchase convertible bonds to forestall a potential dilution of equity. Grifols SA fell 3.5 per cent after an investor sold a stake in Europe's largest blood-plasma products maker.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.8 per cent to 318.47, extending its highest level since June 2008.

Svenska Cellulosa AB jumped 6.9 per cent to 173.50 kronor, its biggest increase in a year. The maker of tissue paper and personal-hygiene products posted third-quarter net income of 1.45 billion kronor ($226 million).

US stocks rose in early trading, with the Standard and Poor's 500 Index extending a record, as results from Google Inc and General Electric Co topped estimates and data showed China's economic growth accelerated. GE added 3.9 percent as demand for industrial products boosted earnings.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc surged 14 percent to a record as customer traffic rose. UnitedHealth Group Inc slumped 3.3 per cent, extending yesterday's 5.1 per cent slide after the insurer reported sales that fell short of analyst estimates.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times