European markets rose on Wednesday as miners gained from metal price increases and strong company results boosted investors’ confidence.
Food group Glanbia climbed 2.58 per cent as more than 500,000 of its shares changed hands. Kerry Group rose by 1.41 per cent to €86.20. Danone, one of Europe’s biggest dairy companies, reported strong results on Wednesday.
Building materials giant CRH climbed 1.94 per cent to €27.82. Investors bought close to 1.9 million of its shares in Dublin.
Financial services group IFG announced a management shake-up. Head of the group risk committee Kathryn Purves will take over from John Cotter as chief executive. Mark Dearsley will take over as chairman while Gavin Howard becomes interim chief financial officer.
However, the news failed to impress investors. IFG shares fell 0.54 per cent to €1.84 on the Dublin market.
International packaging group Smurfit Kappa rose by 2.08 per cent to €36.36. Investors are braced for a higher offer for the group from rival International Paper that may edge closer to the €40 a share seen as most likely to trigger talks.
Dundrum town centre shareholder and manager Hammerson climbed 4.17 per cent to 514.2 pence sterling after saying it would abandon a planned purchase of rival Intu, owner of Manchester’s Trafford centre.
A deteriorating British retail property market and worries over a lengthy merger process prompted Hammerson’s board to advise that the deal was no longer in the group’s best interests.
The deal is unlikely to go ahead but Hammerson can only advise shareholders to vote against it as it cannot withdraw from its bid without Intu’s agreement.
Intu, meanwhile, fell towards the bottom of the index, ending the day down 8.5p at 199.9p.
Elsewhere rising metal prices drove strong gains among mining stocks, pushing London’s blue chip FTSE 100 above 7,300 for the first time since February.
Glencore surged 26.6p or 7.65 per cent to 374.1p, Anglo American up 104.4p or 5.8 per cent to 1,802.6p and BHP Billiton advanced 5.5 per cent or 79.6p to 1,527.2p.
Russian precious metals miner Polymetal rose 11.96 per cent to 698.2p after saying first quarter revenues rose 19 per cent year-on-year. The stock suffered recently on fears that US sanctions could hit earnings.
Shares in oil major BP rose 12.9p to 509.6p, while Shell was up 59p to 2,488p as new figures showed US stocks of crude were falling.
Shares in the owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks were languishing at the foot of the FTSE 250 after detailing an extra £350 million hit after seeing soaring payment protection insurance (PPI) claims ahead of the complaints deadline.
Shares in Glasgow-based CYBG fell 15.2p to 289.2p after the lender said it would increase money set aside for “legacy PPI costs”, which would have an impact on its half-year results.
German coppermaker Aurubis climbed by 6.6 per cent to €74.42 on the back of the rising metal prices.
French food group Danone rose 1.5 per cent to €67.08 after its first-quarter sales beat forecasts on the back of strong demand for baby food in China.
Private healthcare provider Mediclinic rose 9.2 per cent after a full-year update, while Dutch oil and chemical storage company Vopak gained 6.9 per cent after saying it had the potential to improve earnings significantly in 2019.
German auto supplier Continental lowered its full year outlook after exchange rate and inventory valuation effects resulted in a €150 million hit in the first half of 2018. Its shares fell 4 per cent.
Wall Street edged higher as industrial stocks gained on strong results from some marquee companies.
Railroad operator CSX Corp jumped 6.3 per cent after topping profit estimates. United Airlines gained 6.5 per cent and lifted other airline stocks after reporting a better-than-expected quarterly profit.
Lam Research fell 4.6 per cent after the chip equipment maker kept its full-year shipment forecast unchanged, implying a slowdown in demand.
Additional reporting – ReutersTags: Anglo American, Aurubis, BHP Billiton, Business, China, Clydesdale, Continental, CRH, CSX, Danone, Dublin(IE), Dundrum, Equities, Glanbia, Hammerson, Howard Gavin, Ifg, International Paper, John Cotter, Kathryn Purves, Kerry Group, LAM Research, London(GB), major Bp, Manchester(US.NH), Markets, Mediclinic, Shell, Smurfit Kappa, United Airlines, United States, Vopak, Yorkshire