European stocks rise for a second day

European stocks extended a rebound after the worst weekly drop in more than a month, amid signs the US economy is strengthening.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.82pc, or 53.36 points, to end the trading session at 6,591.16.
The leaders on the Dublin market included speciality baker Aryzta, which closed up 2.4pc to €48.03, while packaging giant Smurfit Kappa rose 1.8pc to €27.73.

On the other side of the board, the laggards included shipping and transport group Irish Continental, which closed down 0.5pc to €4.27, while Aer Lingus fell 0.3pc to €2.48 as shareholders had until yesterday to accept the IAG deal.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2pc to 388.13 at the close of trading, rising higher after data that showed US new-home construction climbed to an almost eight-year high in July. Healthcare shares contributed the most to equity gains, with Novo Nordisk and Shire up 1.6pc or more.

Since China’s currency devaluation last week, investors wary of its effect on demand for goods from commodities to cars have sent the Stoxx Europe 600 Index down 2.9pc.

“After a big decline, if you start looking for bargains, then healthcare is the most defensive area,” said Jasper Lawler, London-based market analyst at CMC Markets.

“It’s generally considered a staple item. Commodity shares are lower every day.”

Oil shares dropped the most among 19 industry groups, while BHP Billiton and Anglo American dragged miners lower.

The Stoxx 600 swung between gains and losses at least nine times yesterday, at one point falling as much as 0.4pc.

The equity gauge rose 0.3pc yesterday after slumping last week. German stocks are among the most affected by the yuan’s drop, with the DAX Index down 12pc from a record. The gauge lost 0.2pc yesterday.

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