- European stock markets up as US rebounds
- Rolls Royce rally part of FTSE growth
- Microsoft announces share buyback program
European stock markets were modestly higher on Thursday after a rebound in the US and another dip for Asian equities overnight. Hong Kong down 1.7 per cent as casino stocks fell again, and is now testing the lows struck in July and August, down about 20 per cent from its February peak. Indebted real estate group Evergrande fell another 7 per cent. Gold struggled to hold the $1,800 level as Treasury yields climbed a touch. The dollar is a bit stronger after yesterday’s decline.
The FTSE 100 is in the middle of the range after the decline of last week. Industrials and healthcare to the top, basic materials the only sector in the red. Ashtead is the top gainer, up 3 per cent, after reporting Q1 revenues of £1.85bn and said it sees the full-year performance ahead of previous guidance. The company now expects growth of 13-16 per cent, ahead of the 6-9 per cent prior guidance. Rolls Royce also rallied 3 per cent after the UK struck a security deal with Australia and the US to help supply the former with nuclear submarines. BAE Systems, another mentioned in the press statement from the government, also rose.