Apple’s trillion-dollar marker encourages investors

Market report: Earnings announcements lift European shares at the end of volatile week

Earnings announcements lifted European shares on Friday at the end of another volatile week, as investors drew encouragement from Apple becoming the world's first trillion-dollar company.

Sentiment has been constrained this week by fresh concerns over global trade.


The Iseq index closed up 0.9 per cent, recovering most of the losses sustained in a poor Thursday session, with Bank of Ireland and cement-maker CRH among the risers.

Irish Residential Properties Reit climbed almost 3.4 per cent to €1.42 after a strong set of half-year results that saw its gross rents come in at 2.5 per cent above forecast.


Hibernia Reit rose 1.4 per cent to €1.48, while Green Reit added 0.5 per cent to €1.55. However, Cairn Homes fell 0.5 per cent to €1.67.

After a 3.3 per cent drop in the previous session, Ryanair again finished in the red, but limited its decline to 0.2 per cent, closing at €12.98.

Baking group Aryzta fell to a new record low, ending down 2.9 per cent at €10.75. Paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa, the beneficiary of an earnings forecast upgrade from Davy Research, added 1.6 per cent to finish at €36.02 on a good day for peer Mondi.


The FTSE 100 climbed 1.1 per cent on Friday as cyclical stocks recovered thanks to a respite from trade and Brexit worries, while results from Mondi and RBS were well-received.

Shares in RBS jumped 3.1 per cent and touched their highest level since the end of June after the bank reported half-year results that were better than expected and announced its first dividend in a decade. This lifted other financial stocks.

Paper and packaging company Mondi gained 7.9 per cent after its results beat expectations. However, shares in Aer Lingus-owner IAG were at the bottom of the index, down 2.2 per cent after its results came in below expectations. Strikes by French air traffic control weighed on its second-quarter operating profit.

Results were also in focus among mid-cap stocks as shares in William Hill tumbled 8.1 per cent. The betting company posted a half-year loss and warned of more charges as it revamps its retail business due to tougher regulation at home.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed up 0.7 per cent but ended the week on a 0.5 per cent loss.

France's Credit Agricole posted the best performance of Paris's Cac 40 index with a 2.3 per cent rise with second-quarter profits ahead of estimates, while the Cac 40 itself rose 0.3 per cent.

In Germany, the Dax added 0.55 per cent. German insurer Allianz rose 1 per cent after it reaffirmed it is on track to meet its 2018 profit target.

Heineken shares added 2.3 per cent after the firm sealed a $3.1 billion tie-up with the owner of China's largest brewer, China Resources Beer, under which Heineken will take a 40 per cent stake in the Chinese company.

Apple was a driver for the broader tech sector in Europe, which climbed 0.6 per cent with chipmakers – some of which supply the iPhone maker – the top gainers.


Consumer staples results boosted Wall Street, though a trade spat between the US and China and tepid US jobs numbers capped gains and weighed down the dollar.

The S&P consumer staples sector rose 0.8 per cent and led the gains among major S&P sectors, after getting a boost from Kraft Heinz earnings. Kraft Heinz jumped 5.7 per cent after beating profit and revenue estimates.

Apple hit new record highs after it crossed the $1 trillion market capitalisation threshold on Thursday.

After reporting strong quarterly results, Japanese carmaker Toyota said earlier on Friday that higher US tariffs would have a "big impact" on its bottom line, while oil prices fell back on trade tensions. – Additional reporting: Reuters