Blue-chips lead the way after good news from China, ECB

Iseq’s stalwarts drive index forwardby 1.7% as European shares rise

Stellar performances from the Iseq's blue-chip stalwarts drove the index forward by 1.7 per cent, as European shares rose to two-month highs yesterday. Export-driven stocks such as cars led the way on the continent as China announced a surprise rate cut just a day after the European Central Bank signalled the possibility of stronger stimulus measures.

Germany's DAX closed its strongest week since the end of 2011 with a gain of 2.8 per cent, helped by its carmakers such as Daimler and BMW.

A rally in drugmakers sent Britain’s stocks to a two-month high. The FTSE 100 added 1.1 per cent at the close of trading in London, taking its weekly gain to 1 per cent.

DUBLIN Traders said activity was brisk yesterday in all of the Iseq’s big internationally focused stocks, which reacted well to the news of possible ECB stimulus and the Chinese rate cut.


CRH rose more than 3 per cent to close at €25.44, while Kerry Group was up just shy of 2 per cent to close at €72.60. Smurfit Kappa rose by 3.78 per cent after a particularly strong showing in the morning, and closed at €25.70.

Food business Origin Enterprises rose by 2.7 per cent after a board shake-up. Rose Hynes, the former chairwoman of Eriva, has been appointed to chair Origin, replacing Aryzta boss Owen Killian.

The technology penny stock Zamano fell by almost 10 per cent to close at 14.5 cents, after takeover talks collapsed.



climbed 4.4 per cent after reporting quarterly profit that beat estimates and pledging to continue its pursuit of Baxalta.


rose 2.4 per cent after European regulators recommended a lung drug.

HSBC Holdings

advanced 2.5 per cent.

On the downside, shares in William Hill fell nearly 8 per cent after the British bookmaker full-year operating profit would be lower than expected.

Pearson lost another 5.2 per cent, closing at a five-year low, after Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the education company.

Talk Talk, a FTSE 250 company, fell 4.4 per cent after it said it had received a ransom demand claiming responsibility for a cyber attack that could have led to the theft of personal data from its more than 4 million customers.

EUROPE Shares in Norwegian insurer Gjensidige surged 12.3 per cent after reporting third-quarter profits ahead of market expectations.

French luxury goods group Kerning also rose 10.6 per cent after reporting a dip in sales that was not as bad as some analysts had feared.

However, telecoms network equipment maker Ericsson fell 6 per cent after its third-quarter revenue and profits missed market expectations.

AP Moller-Maersk sank 5.2 per cent after the shipping and oil giant cut its full-year outlook for underlying profit by 15 per cent.

BMW and Volkswagen, which get more than three- quarters of their revenue outside Germany, rose more than 3.2 per cent as exporters were among the best performers yesterday.

NEW YORK Microsoft's shares rose 11.61 per cent to $53.61 heading into the afternoon, their highest in 15 years, after the company's adjusted revenue beat expectations for the ninth quarter in a row. Microsoft gave the biggest boost to the three main US indices, accounting for about a third of the near 100-point jump in the Dow and leading a strong rally in technology stocks.

Alphabet, Google's new holding company, and Amazon soared to record highs after their results beat expectations. Alphabet rose 10.5 per cent to $752.50, while Amazon rose to $619.45.

Apple rose 2.6 per cent to $118.47. Facebook rose 2 per cent to breach the $100 mark for the first time, while Twitter was up 3.9 per cent at $30.27.– (Additional reporting from Bloomberg/Reuters)

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times