Shares rally as in­vestor fears ease

Fi­nan­cial stocks were once again among the top per­form­ers on Euro­pean bourses S&P 500 hits a record in­tra­day high as McDon­ald’s falls more than 3 per cent

The Irish Times - Business - - MARKETS - BARRY O’HAL­LO­RAN NEW YORK

Mar­kets ral­lied yes­ter­day as in­vestors’ fears about the im­pact of Hur­ri­cane Irma and the nu­clear stand-off with North Korea eased.


Ser­vice sta­tion chain Ap­ple­green closed at a 52-week high of €5.80 af­ter an­nounc­ing its first div­i­dend pay­ment to share­hold­ers. The Ir­ish group said gross prof­its rose 20 per cent in the first half of the year to €82.2 mil­lion.

It pro­poses pay­ing an in­terim div­i­dend of 0.6 cent, its first such pay­ment. Close to 440,000 of its shares traded in Dublin yes­ter­day, which deal­ers de­scribed as rea­son­able for a stock that “tends not to be the most liq­uid”. Its shares climbed 4.16 per cent on the back of the ac­tiv­ity. Pack­ag­ing group Smur­fit

Kappa rose 3.4 per cent to €26.475 af­ter an­a­lysts at in­vest­ment bank Gold­man Sachs rec­om­mended the stock as a buy. In­vestors took their ad­vice and pur­chased more than 1.1 mil­lion of its shares.

Builder Cairn Homes tum­bled 4.02 per cent to €1.695 af­ter founders – broth­ers Michael and Kevin Stan­ley, and Alan McIntosh – sold a com­bined 2.1 per cent stake for €26.6 mil­lion. The three sold at €1.70, a dis­count of close to 4 per cent on Mon­day’s close. The stock dipped fur­ther dur­ing the day.

Bank of Ire­land added 1.42 per cent as sen­ti­ment to­wards the sec­tor im­proved gen­er­ally yes­ter­day. Close to 2.17 mil­lion of its shares changed hands dur­ing the day.

There was less in­ter­est in its ri­val, AIB, which ticked up 0.4 per cent to close at €4.96.


Shares in Lon­don weak­ened as ster­ling rose on the back of spec­u­la­tion that higher in­fla­tion would prompt the Bank of Eng­land to in­crease bor­row­ing charges.

Ir­ish ex­plorer Prov­i­dence fell a fur­ther 2.22 per cent to 5.5 pence ster­ling. The com­pany this week re­ported poor re­sults from drilling in the Por­cu­pine Basin off the State’s south­west coast. Sky shares took a tum­ble af­ter the UK’s cul­ture min­is­ter, Karen Bradley, said Ru­pert Mur­doch’s £11.7 bil­lion bid to take full con­trol of the broad­caster faces a po­ten­tial wider in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the com­pe­ti­tion reg­u­la­tor. Shares in Sky closed down more than 1 per cent at 937p.

Re­tailer JD Sports upped its earn­ings out­look for the full year af­ter ro­bust sales. The group cheered an “ex­cep­tional first half” af­ter it saw pre­tax prof­its leap a third higher to £102.7 mil­lion in the six months to July 29th. Shares in the Ftse 250 firm surged 7 per cent to 373.7p.


Fi­nan­cial stocks were yet again among the top per­form­ers, with banks and fi­nan­cial ser­vices up 1.6 and 1.1 per cent re­spec­tively. In­sur­ance firms, which fu­elled Europe’s rise on Mon­day with a roughly 2 per cent jump, were again in pos­i­tive ter­ri­tory, edg­ing up 0.8 per cent.

Volk­swa­gen rose 1.9 per­cent af­ter an­nounc­ing a €20 bil­lion plan to de­velop zero-emis­sion ve­hi­cles. Other auto mak­ers also gained ground, such as

Peu­geot, which topped France’s blue-chip CAC 40 in­dex with a 3.8 per cent rise.

No­var­tis gained 1.3 per cent as it re­ported that its biosim­i­lar rit­ux­imab to treat blood can­cers and im­muno­log­i­cal dis­eases such as rheuma­toid arthri­tis was ac­cepted for re­view by the US Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FDA).

French vet­eri­nar­ian phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany Vir­bac sank 16.3 per cent af­ter cut­ting its full-year out­look.

US stocks were higher in early-af­ter­noon trad­ing yes­ter­day, with the S&P 500 hit­ting a record in­tra­day high led by gains in fi­nan­cial stocks, and in­vestors fo­cused on an Ap­ple event where the com­pany is set to launch its new iPhone.

McDon­ald’s shares fell more than 3 per cent on a re­port that a re­search firm had raised con­cerns about the fast-food chain’s third-quar­ter sales. DowDuPont rose 1.77 per cent af­ter the com­pany said it was mak­ing changes to a plan of split­ting it­self into three.

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