HomeBusinessMARKET REPORT: European stocks bounce back after Asian intervention

MARKET REPORT: European stocks bounce back after Asian intervention

Global markets staged a comeback as a rebound in Asia and hopes for a peace deal in Ukraine boosted optimism.

The FTSE 100 was up 1.6 per cent, or 115.98 points, at 7291.68 and the FTSE 250 rose 3.2 per cent or 647.88 points, to 20,905.54 as European traders followed Asia’s lead.

Germany’s Dax index also rose 3.8 per cent while France’s Cac 40 added 3.7 per cent. A rebound in Chinese stocks following two days of heavy selling came as Beijing rushed to respond to its latest Covid outbreak.

Rebound: The FTSE 100 was up 1.6% at 7288.45 and the FTSE 250 rose 3% to 20,873.41 as European traders followed Asia’s lead

Victoria Scholar, head of investment of investment at Interactive Investor, said a ‘verbal intervention’ from the Beijing government to protect markets from volatility was probably a key reason.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index enjoyed its best day since the 2008 financial crisis, closing nearly 9.1 per cent higher, while the Shanghai Composite rose 3.5 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 1.6 per cent.

The resurgence boosted shares in London-listed stocks with exposure to Asia. Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, which has large holdings in companies such as Chinese tech giant Tencent, jumped 9.4 per cent, or 82.4p, to 961.2p while FTSE 250 fund Fidelity China Special Situations added 16 per cent, or 35p, to 253.5p.

Luxury fashion brand Burberry, which has a large presence in China, climbed 6.2 per cent, or 99p, to 1690.5p and insurer Prudential rose 5 per cent, or 50p, to 1050p.

Mining firms also saw gains amid hopes a stabilisation of the Chinese economy would support demand for raw materials. 

Copper giant Antofagasta added 6.6 per cent, or 101.5p, to 1632.5p while Glencore jumped 2.8 per cent, or 12.85p, to 473.15p, Rio Tinto rose 4 per cent, or 208p, to 5418p and Anglo American was up 0,8 per cent, or 31p, at 3705.5p.

The bounceback came ahead of the decision by the US Federal Reserve on interest rates.

Stock Watch –  Restore

Restore rose after posting record results for 2021.

The AIM-listed group, which provides document management and shredding services, reported a full-year pre-tax profit of £38.1million, up 64 per cent year-on-year. 

Revenues climbed 28 per cent to £234.3million. 

Eight acquisitions scaled up the business and widened its capabilities.

Its document management arm gained market share while the shredding business recovered to around 84 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. 

Shares rose 3.5 per cent, or 15p, to 440p.  

Meanwhile, hopes of a resolution to the Ukraine conflict, which were raised after the country’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said peace talks with Russia were starting to ‘sound more realistic’, helped lift shares in travel stocks hit by uncertainty.

Holiday Inn owner Intercontinental Hotels was up 4.3 per cent, or 203p, to 5184p, while British Airways parent IAG ascended 4.9 per cent, or 6.82p, to 144.18p, Easyjet jumped 5.2 per cent, or 27.4p, to 550.2p and Wizz Air climbed 4.4 per cent, or 120p, to 2875p.

Oil staged a brief rally with Brent crude rising back above $100 a barrel amid uncertainty on global supplies. Shell shares dropped 1.4 per cent, or 28p, to 1912p amid the volatility while BP rose 0.6 per cent, or 2.25p, to 363.25p.

Mid-cap IT firm Bytes Technology was up 11.4 per cent, or 48.2p, to 470.8p after noting ‘another upbeat year’. Results for the year to the end of February were ‘ahead of expectations’, it said.

Online stock trading firm IG Group said its active clients hit a record high of 292,200 in its third quarter as last year’s ‘extraordinary’ rally in ‘meme stocks’ sent new investors flooding to its platform. 

Revenues in the three months to February 28 rose 13 per cent year-on-year to £257.2million. But shares fell 0.5 per cent, or 4p, to 787p.

Computacenter climbed 8.7 per cent, or 228p, to 2864p as investors cheered strong full-year results.

The FTSE 250 group’s profits jumped 27.5 per cent to £255.6million in 2021 while revenues rose 23.6 per cent to £6.7billion as its industrial and tech customers ramped up spending on IT equipment as the effects of the pandemic began to subside.

A surge in profits of nearly 700 per cent sent 4imprint Group 1.8 per cent, or 50p, higher to 2830p. 

It makes promotional products and free samples, and its pre-tax profit in 2021 rocketed 687 per cent to £30.2million as companies began spending more on its products following the pandemic.

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