European markets started August on a high level as strong earnings reports and a wave of mergers and acquisitions helped push stocks to six straight months of gains.
Banks gained ground after stress tests indicated they did not need additional capital. AIB rose 1.21% to close at € 2.097. Peer Bank of Ireland closed at € 4.48, but hit a high of € 4.565 at the start of Monday trading.
Somewhere else, Ryanair added 1.15% to € 16.765 as the UK government on Monday ended quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers from the European Union and the United States, except those from France.
The move means those from most of the UK’s ‘orange list’ countries don’t need to self-isolate once they’re completely stung. Great Britain is a key market for Ryanair.
Packaging specialist Smurfit Kappa was down 0.44% to € 47.36 at closing. Brokers said analysts at Jefferies brokers downgraded the stock’s rating. Shares plunged earlier to € 47.31.
British aeronautical engineer Meggitt climbed 56.7% to a record 735 pence sterling, making it Monday’s best-performing European stock, after US industrial firm Parker-Hannifin announced it would buy out British rival in the part of an agreement valued at 8.76 billion dollars (7.4 billion euros).
UK asset management service provider Sanné Group jumped 7.6% to 908p after announcing it could secure a takeover bid from fund manager Apex Group.
Owner of Aer Lingus and British Airways, International Consolidated Airlines Group, rose 3.19% to 173.46p following the UK government’s decision to further relax quarantine rules for inbound travelers. This decision ranked the airline group, also parent of Spanish companies Iberia and Vueling, among the best of the day on the FTSE 100. Rival EasyJet was 864.4 percent flat.
Aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls Royce increased 3% to 103.48p. Luxury goods brand Burberry gained 3 percent at 2,125p.
Lender HSBC said it would pay shareholders an interim dividend of 5p per share as it revealed pre-tax profit more than doubled in its last six-month period. Shares fell 0.3% to 396.15p.
Insurer Allianz fell 7.8% to € 193.70 after warning that a U.S. Department of Justice hedge fund investigation that caused losses to investors during a pandemic market downturn last year, could greatly affect profits.
The German insurer said it could not estimate the cost of possible fines and therefore had not made any provision.
Axa, the second-largest European insurer, rose 4.2% to € 22.80 after recording a 180% increase in net income in the first half of the year.
Heineken, the world’s second-largest brewer, said it expects the pandemic to weigh on key Asian and African markets for the rest of the year and warned that rising commodity costs would reduce margins, after reporting better than expected first half profits. The stock finished 0.6% stronger at € 98.80.
Air France KLM rose 4% to € 4.08 on a generally good day for airline stocks and travel across Europe.
German real estate company Vonovia rose 2.2% to € 57.44 as he launched a softened € 19.1 billion bid to buy rival Deutsche Wohnen.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.6% to close at a record high of 464.45 points, with retail and tech stocks outperforming.
Wall Street abandoned its early gains as fears over the Delta variant of Covid and the slowing US economy overshadowed optimism about more fiscal stimulus and a strong second quarter earnings season.
Data earlier today showed that while the U.S. manufacturing sector rose in July, its pace slowed for a second consecutive month as spending reverted to services from goods and commodity shortages persisted.
A jump of 4.1% for You’re here, in addition to a 6.8% gain last week, helped support both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite.
Square, the payment firm of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey jumped 10.3% after announcing it would buy Australian Buy now, later pay pioneer Afterpay for $ 29 billion (€ 24.4 billion ). – Additional reports: Reuters