European shares up on global growth hopes despite Brexit fears

Iseq advances but International Continental Group sheds value on further ‘Ulysses’ delay

European shares advanced on Monday as investors looked beyond the growing US-China trade dispute and political turmoil in the UK.

Despite British prime minister Theresa May’s plans for a soft Brexit being hit by two cabinet resignations, the pan- European STOXX 600 rose 0.6 per cent to its highest level since June 22nd.


The Iseq index added 0.2 per cent to 7,013.12, with Kingspan, up 1.4 per cent, and Glanbia, which advanced 1 per cent, among the main movers.

International Continental Group fell 0.4 per cent to €5.15 as the ferries operator revealed its Ulysses vessel, which operates between Dublin and Holyhead, would be out of service for longer than expected.


Greencoat dipped by 2.4 per cent to €1.025 as the wind energy company outlined plans to sell up to 250 million new shares – starting with an immediate issue of 100 million shares at €1.01 each – to buy more wind farm assets in Ireland.

Rising oil prices helped to lift Providence Resources 3.2 per cent higher to 12.8 cent.


Britain's FTSE 100 jumped on Monday after two UK Eurosceptic ministers, David Davis and Boris Johnson, resigned and dented sterling, with real estate and utilities stocks declining as uncertainty over Brexit negotiations deepened.

The index rose 0.9 per cent in its third straight day of gains, outpacing European peers thanks to the slide in the pound as markets continued to benefit from Friday’s strong US jobs report.

The FTSE was climbing “for the wrong reasons”, a trader said, predicting a snap election.

While international, dollar-earning stocks such as British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands gained with sterling's fall, some domestic sectors suffered as the resignations added to political uncertainty.

Real estate agencies Foxtons and Countrywide were the two worst hit on the small-cap index, down 6.2 per cent and 5.1 percent respectively.

Real estate stocks were the biggest drag on the FTSE 250 too, with student accommodation group Unite down 1.3 per cent and property developer Capital & Counties down 1.4 per cent.

Mining company BHP rose 2.7 per cent after Reuters reported that BP was set to buy its US onshore shale oil and gas assets after an offer worth more than $10 billion.

Antofagasta also gained as copper rallied on receding worries about global economic growth.


Germany’s DAX gained 0.4 per cent as data published on Monday also showed that German exports grew more than expected in May, slightly alleviating investors’ concerns Europe’s biggest economy would be dented by trade tensions.

Industrial stocks Siemens, ABB, and Schneider Electric, which have been among the biggest fallers as trade tensions rise, rebounded to gain 0.6 per cent to 1.8 per cent.

Financials were the biggest boost to the European market, with HSBC, Santander and Credit Suisse top gainers as the sector rebounded, having been one of the worst hit by rising protectionism.

Trade-sensitive luxury stocks Kering, LVMH and Richemont also rose 0.9 per cent to 2 per cent as investors bought back in to the sector.

Air France KLM was a top performer on the STOXX, rising 6.3 per cent after reporting higher passenger traffic for June while a leading French transport executive was touted as its possible new chief executive.


US stocks were ahead in early afternoon trading on Wall Street, with banks and industrial stocks driving a third day of gains as investors looked ahead to a strong quarterly earnings season, setting aside trade concerns.

JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup are scheduled to report on Friday, kicking off the second quarter earnings season in earnest.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 1.3 per cent, at 24,765.78, the S&P 500 gained 0.8 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.5 per cent

The S&P industrial sector jumped, with defence stocks Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman gaining.

Twitter dropped after the Washington Post reported that the social media company suspended more than 70 million fake accounts in May and June, which analysts said could be negative for user growth. – Additional reporting, Bloomberg/Reuters

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times