Iseq finishes up almost 1% as European indices snap four-day losing streak

Oil stocks up as US government tells majors it will buy their reserves

European stocks ended higher for the first time in five days on Monday as oil, banks and utility shares gained on hopes that a strong euro-zone economic recovery would outweigh risks from a global slowdown.

US stocks swung between gains and losses, while energy companies were mostly positive as crude oil extended a rally to a six-week high.


The Iseq index finished the session up 0.9 per cent, as trading volumes started to pick up after a summer lull.

Building and property stocks performed well, as construction industry purchasing indices showed a strong expansion in the sector. Industrial property business Yew Grove Reit was up 5.1 per cent to €1.03. Hibernia Reit rose 1.34 per cent to €1.21, while Glenveagh Homes and Cairn Homes both rose 0.53 per cent to rest at the same share price, each €1.14.


Iseq index big guns also performed well, with Ryanair up 2.65 per cent to €15.90, CRH rising 2 per cent to €43.86, and Kingspan up 1 per cent to €97.


The FTSE 100 ended higher as gains in energy-linked stocks aided a partial recovery from its worst weekly performance since mid-August. The blue-chip index climbed 0.6 per cent, after sliding 1.5 per cent last week.

Associated British Foods dropped 2.4 per cent as fourth-quarter sales at its Penneys/Primark fashion business were lower than expected, with shopper numbers hurt by public-health measures in its major markets.

Recruiter SThree rose 3.8 per cent after forecasting annual earnings "significantly above" estimates.

Transport company FirstGroup jumped 3.2 per cent after saying its First bus passenger volumes reached 65 per cent of pre-pandemic levels on average in recent weeks.

Martin Sorrell's S4 Capital fell 3.8 per cent despite the advertising group lifting its annual gross profit guidance, driven by strong demand from global tech platforms.

Sainsbury's told customers and staff that it will shut all its shops on December 26th to give staff time off, following similar announcements from Morrisons, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer. The decision will affect all Sainsbury's supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol filling stations as well as Argos and Habitat. Shares dipped 1.2 per cent.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.3 per cent after hitting a three-week low last week.

In Germany, strong performances for car companies Daimler and BMW pushed up the Frankfurt Dax index by 0.6 per cent. The Cac 40 in Paris rose 0.2 per cent.

Valneva plunged 41.6 per cent after the British government ended a Covid-19 vaccine supply deal with the French company, alleging a breach of obligations that Valneva denies.

German online pet supplies retailer Zooplus jumped 9.0 per cent after Hellman & Friedman raised its takeover offer to €3.29 billion from an initial offer of €3 billion.

New York

Gains in energy stocks pushed the Dow Jones index higher and kept the S&P 500 in positive territory, with focus shifting to potential changes to corporate taxes and a clutch of data this week.

The Nasdaq, however, was pulled lower by a drop in major technology stocks, putting it on track for a fourth straight day of losses, as more regulations on major Chinese firms soured investor appetite.

Apple was among the top boosts to the tech-heavy index, rising 0.5 per cent after a mixed court ruling in Epic Games' antitrust case against the iPhone maker knocked nearly $90 billion off its market value on Friday.

Oil majors also got a boost after the US government agreed to sell crude oil from the country's emergency reserve to eight companies, including Chevron Corp and ExxonMobil Corp.

Biotechnology firm Regenxbio surged nearly 30 per cent after it entered into a partnership with peer AbbVie to develop and sell a gene therapy candidate for the treatment of chronic retinal diseases. – Additional reporting: Reuters/PA/Bloomberg

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times