Trump’s tax plan boosts stocks with US exposure

CRH, Glanbia and Kingspan feel the benefit of US president’s proposed tax reforms

CRH rose by 2.7 per cent in Dublin. The building materials giant has a huge US division and stands to gain from any lowering of tax rates by US president Donald Trump.

CRH rose by 2.7 per cent in Dublin. The building materials giant has a huge US division and stands to gain from any lowering of tax rates by US president Donald Trump.

 

British markets eked out marginal gains on Thursday as blue-chip firms with hefty American operations enjoyed a lift after US president Donald Trump revealed a plan for sweeping tax reforms.

At home, the Iseq in Dublin rose by 0.5 per cent, helped by strong performances from some of its heavyweights with significant US exposure.

US stocks were little changed as they headed for an eighth straight quarterly gain.

Dublin

CRH rose by 2.7 per cent in Dublin. The building materials giant has a huge US division and stands to gain from any lowering of tax rates by Mr Trump. Glanbia, which has a nutrition foods division in the US, rose by 1 per cent. Insulation group Kingspan rose by more than 2.2 per cent.

Ryanair’s torrid time continued, as the share price was again rocked by further cancellations due to its “rostering failure” with pilots. It fell 3.3 per cent after cancelling 22 flights a week out of Dublin for the next several months.

Irish Continental Group, the owner of Irish Ferries and a competitor of Ryanair’s on routes across the Irish Sea, rose by 2 per cent.

London

The FTSE 100 Index closed up 9.31 points, with CRH, which is also listed in London, and the equipment rentals business Ashtead Group among the biggest risers as traders priced in Mr Trump’s tax overhaul.

Tobacco giant Imperial Brands fell by more than 4 per cent after it revealed that talks were under way to thrash out a rescue deal for Palmer & Harvey (P&H) to ensure the troubled wholesaler has a “sustainable future”. P&H, the UK’s biggest supplier of cigarettes, employs around 4,000 people and provides alcohol, groceries and frozen food to 90,000 retail accounts, including Tesco.

Thomson owner Tui was also struggling despite saying it was on track for a double-digit surge in annual profits. The travel giant said its “primary focus” has been on supporting holidaymakers in resorts impacted by Hurricane Irma, as well as rebooking customers in alternative destinations. Tui did not give an overall cost of the impact of Irma on its business, but said it saw “lower double-digit” costs for cancellations, customer care and repatriation.

Europe

Across Europe, Germany’s Dax was up 0.4 per cent and the Cac 40 in France was 0.2 per cent higher.

Gains in banking stocks, led by German lender Deutsche Bank and France’s BNP Paribas, helped offset declines among basic resources stocks.

Swedish fashion group H&M fell after disappointing results. It was down more than 5 per cent after it reported a 20 per cent fall in quarterly profit on Thursday as summer discounts hurt margins, while sales slowed toward the end of this month.

New York

Gains in McDonald’s lifted the Dow in early afternoon trading on Thursday, while a cooling of the enthusiasm generated by Mr Trump’s tax plan pressured financial and technology stocks.

Shares in the world’s biggest fast food chain rose 2.57 per cent, its biggest single-day percentage gain in more than two months, after Longbow Research upgraded the stock to “buy”.

The financial index was the biggest loser among the 11 major S&P sectors, after rising sharply on Wednesday on growing expectations of an interest rate hike in December.

Technology stocks slipped after gaining for two straight days and Apple’s 0.76 per cent fall weighed on the S&P and the Nasdaq.

The healthcare index led S&P gainers, rising by a third of a percent. AbbVie was the biggest boost to the S&P, rising more than 5.6 per cent after announcing a global resolution of intellectual property-related litigation with Amgen. Abbott also rose almost 3 per cent after the regulators approved the company’s glucose-monitoring device.

Western Digital fell 2.4 per cent after Toshiba said it had signed an $18 billion deal to sell its chip unit to a consortium led by Bain Capital.

– (Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters/PA)