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Apple’s rising tide lifts tech sector boats as shares gain across Europe

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European shares rose on Wednesday, boosted by several strong earnings updates and a rising tech sector after results from Apple exceeded expectations.

British shares also traded higher, posting a fifth session of gains in a row as metal prices boosted miners and first-quarter earnings reports lifted the market.

US equities faltered as investors digested earnings reports and shifted focus to the US Federal Reserve’s imminent rate decision. The dollar surged for a third straight session, while US Treasuries fluctuated.

Dublin
The Iseq rose 0.7 per cent on extremely brisk trading volumes, with €571 million worth of shares changing hands in Dublin.

Paddy Power Betfair had a torrid time all day, after a weak trading update including worse-than-expected softness in its European online business. Not even the announcement of a £500 million share buyback could prevent it finishing the session down 5.6 per cent to €77.65.

Ryanair was up more than 1.1 per cent to €15.85, after announcing April traffic figures up 9 per cent.

Kerry Group was up 0.9 per cent to €85.75, ahead of the release of its trading update and AGM on Thursday.

London
London-listed miners added the most points to the FTSE as copper prices recovered on strong China factory data.

Fresnillo, Antofagasta and Glencore rose between 2.2 and 3.2 per cent, with the latter, according to a report, winning a temporary injunction against Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler over alleged unpaid royalties.

British satellite firm Inmarsat spiked 8 per cent after its first-quarter revenue rose 5 per cent, building on the momentum achieved last year in its maritime and aviation services operations.

Ocado also shone, up 3.5 per cent after the British online grocer and technology company announced a new partnership with a Swedish company.

Shares in AMS, which provides the facial recognition technology used in Apple’s iPhones, jumped 7 per cent after Apple surprised the market with solid iPhone X sales, confounding fears of a much weaker performance.

Europe
A drop in the euro helped the exporter-heavy German DAX index outperform with a rise of 1.5 per cent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB rose 1.2 per cent to its highest level since October 2009, as government debt rose on dimming prospects of a snap election.

Mining stocks jumped 2.8 per cent, providing the bedrock for Europe’s gains as copper prices recovered on strong China factory data.

Chipmakers STMicroelectronics, Infineon , BE Semiconductor and ASML also posted sharp gains after the Apple’s results helped sentiment on the sector. Europe’s tech sector rose 1.2 per cent to a six-week high.

Shares in Swedish oil firm Lundin Petroleum rose 4.3 per cent after it became the latest European oil company to beat earnings expectations, helped by higher output.

Danish hearing aid company GN Store Nord gained 7 per cent after announcing a 1 billion Danish krone share buyback and beating profit expectations.

New York
Heading into the afternoon, Apple was a bright spot, rising 4.5 per cent after it posted resilient iPhone sales in the face of waning global demand and promised $100 billion in additional stock buybacks.

Its suppliers Cirrus Logic, Lumentum Holdings and Skyworks Solutions were all up between 2.5 per cent and 10 per cent.

Mastercard rose 3.4 per cent after it reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, boosted by higher consumer spending on credit and debit cards. The gains kept the S&P technology index in the positive territory, up 0.4 per cent. On the other end of the spectrum was Snap, whose shares plunged more than 20.5 per cent, after the Snapchat owner fell short of Wall Street forecasts for revenue and regular users.

Biotechnology stocks also took a hit on Gilead Sciences’s 7.3 per cent drop after the company reported a lower quarterly profit as sales of its flagship hepatitis C drugs fell. Insurers Metlife, AIG and Prudential Financial were all down after disability insurance provider Unum Group reported a lower-than-expected profit. Unum shares fell about 15.9 per cent.

(Additional reporting: Reuters/Bloomberg)

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