European shares near 2-year high; Ryanair boosts Irish stocks

Reuters Nov 4 | Updated on November 04, 2019

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.5 per cent to its highest since January 2018. File Photo   -  Bloomberg

European shares touched their highest level in nearly two years on Monday on hopes that a US-China trade deal could be in the offing, while a strong earnings report by Ryanair lifted Irish stocks to a one-year high.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.5 per cent to its highest since January 2018.

The benchmark index is inching close to a record high hit in April 2015, after ending Friday with its fourth straight weekly gain as upbeat US jobs numbers and a bounce in Chinese manufacturing tempered concerns over slowing economic growth.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Sunday licenses for US companies to sell components to China's Huawei Technologies Co will come “very shortly”, adding there was no reason a trade deal could not be on track to be signed this month.

“The question now is how much markets are pricing in a deal between the US and China and I would say there is a 50 per cent chance that they will get it done,” said Teeuwe Mevissen, senior market economist at Rabobank.

Tariff-exposed European miners gained 1.9 per cent

Auto stocks rose 3 per cent, logging the biggest gain among the market's main sub-sectors. The rally was also led by reports that Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot owner PSA aimed to sign a final merger agreement as early as next month.

Germany's BMW, the biggest US automotive exporter by value, rose 2.2 per cent The company had warned last month that an intensifying global trade war could threaten jobs at its South Carolina plant, which exports about 70 per cent of its production.

Trade-sensitive Frankfurt shares rose 0.8 per cent.

Siemens Healthineers jumped 5.5 per cent to a record high after it said it expected strong growth to continue next year following a better-than-expected fourth quarter.

Expectations had been low for third-quarter earnings from European companies, and most firms have surpassed estimates four weeks into the reporting season.

Ryanair rose 6.5 per cent to a one-year high after the budget carrier beat first-half profit expectations. Its shares helped Irish stocks jump 1.5 per cent, the most among regional indexes.

Dutch oil and chemicals storage company Vopak fell 3.6 per cent after it reported quarterly earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) slightly below consensus.

Meanwhile, investors shrugged off weak manufacturing data from major European regions, even as the factory activity in the bloc's powerhouse, Germany, remained in recession in October.

Published on November 04, 2019

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