European values rise on positive data

Iseq advances with CRH and Smurfit Kappa among most traded stocks

Benchmark stock indexes edged higher but the dollar fell after a US government report showed sales of new single-family homes in July fell to their lowest level in nine months, raising doubts about the timing and extent of cuts to the Federal Reserve stimulus programme.

European stocks advanced for a second day, trimming the biggest weekly decline in two months, as euro-area consumer confidence and UK economic growth exceeded forecasts.

CRH, Smurfit Kappa and Ryanair were among the most traded stocks on the Dublin stock market yesterday, though all ended near flat.

Shares in Aer Lingus were 1.8 per cent higher at €1.73, while CPL Resources rose 1.6 per cent to €6.09.


FBD Holdings, which is due to report interim results next week, fell 1.8 per cent to €16.39. Next week's results are expected to show a decline year-on-year at the operating profit level, driven by an increase in large claims in the half.

Exploration companies performed poorly overall, with Petroceltic, Providence Resources and Petroneft all declining. Petroceltic declined 2.2 per cent to €1.70, while Providence fell 2.4 per cent to finish at €3.65. Petroneft slumped 6.8 per cent.

Britain's blue-chip shares advanced, led by speciality chemical maker Croda International on a rating hike from Deutsche Bank, with investors heartened by signs that a global economic recovery is taking hold.

The FTSE 100 closed up 45.23 points, or 0.7 per cent, at 6,492.10 points, building on the previous session’s 0.9 per cent rise and trimming its monthly loss to 1.9 per cent.

Carpetright dropped 0.8 per cent. The UK’s largest carpet and flooring retailer and five other domestic companies are misleading consumers by inflating prices before offering discounts, the Office of Fair Trading said as it asked the stores to stop the practice.

Henry Boot, the property company that built Pinewood film studios, rose 6.4 per cent after reporting its latest results. First-half revenue almost doubled from a year earlier to £81.8 million, while net income advanced to £4.7 million from £2.9 million, it said.

A rally in commodity and financial shares helped European stocks to gain, although the market was still headed for this month's first weekly loss on concerns of a cut in US stimulus.

Heineken dropped 5.2 per cent after the world's third- largest brewer said profit before some items will not grow in 2013.

Commerzbank rose 2.6 per cent after a report suggested the German government could sell its 17 per cent stake in the struggling bank to another European lender.

ING Group rose 2.4 per cent to €8.78 after Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the shares to overweight, similar to buy, from equal weight, saying the Dutch lender's net-interest margin is likely to increase.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.4 per cent to 304.71 at the close of trading. France’s CAC 40 lost 1.3 per cent and Germany’s DAX Index added 0.3 per cent.

US stocks rose in early trading, following the Standard and Poor's 500 Index's biggest gain in three weeks, as investors watched Federal Reserve officials for signals on stimulus cuts after data showed home sales plunged in July.

Microsoft rallied 6.9 per cent after chief executive officer Steve Ballmer said he would retire within 12 months.

Pandora Media slumped 11 per cent to $19.26, its steepest slide this year. The biggest online radio service forecast third-quarter profit that will miss analyst estimates as the company invests to expand its sales staff.

Aeropostale tumbled 20.4 per cent to $8.74 after the teen apparel retailer forecast a deep third-quarter loss.

Autodesk jumped 11 per cent to $39.97. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters)