Date: Wednesday 20 Jun 2012
- European stocks up on hopes for Operation Twist
- Ryanair renews offer for Aerlingus
- H&M beats expectations
FTSE 100: +1.77%
Dax 30: +1.81%
Stoxx 600: +1.57%
Cac 40: +1.58%
Ibex 35: +2.48%
FTSE MIB: +3.35%
European markets rose on Wednesday as investors bet the US Federal Reserve would extend the so-called 'Operation Twist' after its two-day meeting finishes.
Operation Twist is the programme involving the sale of short-term debt in exchange for long-term securities with the intention of flattening the interest rate curve.
In simple terms it is a stimulus measure for the US economy which some believe is badly needed in light of the ongoing problems in Europe.
The strongest sector on the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 was travel and leisure which gained 1.5%, the weakest shares were in the food and beverage sector which fell 0.55%.
Ryanair has been flexing its muscles in its continuing attempts to buy Irish rival Aer Lingus. The latest salvo is a bid at €694m or €1.3 per share, and comes at a time when the Irish government has made it known it is seeking to sell its stake in the carrier to raise much needed cash. The news saw Aer Lingus shares climb 16% before the close in Dublin.
Meanwhile Hennes and Mauritz, better known as H&M rose 4.8% after reporting a 23% increase in profits in the second quarter of its financial year. The 5.22bn kronor figure was significantly ahead of analysts expectations.
Peugeot Citroen also got a 7% boost on Wednesday after French press reported the government was considering a tax on luxury cars to boost home built, budget car sales.
By 16:59 in London the euro was up 0.13% against the dollar at $1.2702.
Futures contracts for front month delivery of Brent crude had fallen 2% by 16:41 to hit $93.84.
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