Aryzta and Ryanair drop in flat Irish market as banks retreat

US stocks trending higher for fourth day

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The S&P 500 overcame morning weakness to push higher, while Nvidia, Adobe, Microsoft and Apple led the Nasdaq indexes to solid advances.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The S&P 500 overcame morning weakness to push higher, while Nvidia, Adobe, Microsoft and Apple led the Nasdaq indexes to solid advances.

 

Baked goods group Aryzta and Ryanair stood out as a weak spots on an otherwise flat performance by Irish shares on Monday, as the wider European market also failed to gain much momentum.

The Iseq index in Dublin closed down 0.1 per cent at 5,830.05, while the pan-European Stoxx 600 edged almost 0.1 per cent higher.

Dublin

Aryzta dropped 9.2 per cent to 88c, the most in two months, as analysts at Credit Suisse resumed coverage of the baked goods group’s stock with the equivalent of a ‘sell’ recommendation, citing concerns about its debt levels, “highly ambitious” turnaround plan and need to step up investment.

Ryanair declined by 1.9 per cent to €11.19, after Europe’s biggest budget airline blamed falling fares for a quarterly loss and warned that overcapacity was likely to continue to pressure prices.

CRH edged 0.6 per cent higher to €25.80, as HSBC analysts published an upbeat note on European cement companies, setting share price target with as much as 40 per cent upside from current levels.

Providence Resources jumped almost 10 per cent to 18c, albeit amid thin trading volumes in Dublin, as oil prices advanced.

London

London’s blue-chip stocks climbed to their highest in more than two months as gains in oil shares and consumer staples offset deep losses in miners.

The FTSE 100 index edged 0.2 per cent higher, extending a five-day winning streak, after the US Federal Reserve’s cautious stance last week and consensus-busting US jobs data boosted confidence.

British oil majors Shell and BP held on to gains and provided the most support for the main bourse as crude prices earlier hit their highest so far this year on OPEC-led supply cuts and US sanctions against Venezuela’s petroleum industry.

Cyclicals, such as miners, and dollar earners led the falls while consumer staples such as Unilever, Diageo - which are considered safe havens in times of economic and geopolitical stress - were in favour.

In single stock moves, supermarket chain Morrisons advanced nearly 2 per cent to be among best FTSE 100 performers after Citigroup raised the rating to “neutral”.

On the midcaps, iron ore pellet producer Ferrexpo slumped 8 per cent after it said an ongoing review of statements of a charitable foundation in Ukraine to which it made donations may affect its books.

Europe

Banks were the biggest drag across Europe, with Julius Baer falling more than 4 per cent after a tough end to 2018 caused the Swiss private bank to scale back growth targets.

Banks have lagged the early 2019 stock market bounce on concerns over a slowing economy, with central banks signalling a pause in tightening measures also hitting the rate-sensitive sector.

Spanish banks Sabadell and Caixabank were among the biggest losers, down 4.8 and 4.5 per cent, respectively, following a price target downgrade from UBS.

German payment company Wirecard soared 13.7 per cent after it said its law firm found no conclusive evidence of criminal misconduct. The Financial Times last week alleged financial wrongdoing at its Singapore office, sending its shares down as much as 40 per cent.

Danish logistics group DSV fell 2.1 per cent after its bid for Panalpina hit a road block when the Swiss freight forwarder’s top shareholder rejected the offer. Panalpina tumbled 11.7 per cent.

Wall Street

US stocks were trending higher for a fourth day in early afternoon trading, with technology shares leading the advance as investors awaited fresh catalysts after digesting solid American economic data on Friday and inconclusive trade talks in Washington.

The S&P 500 overcame morning weakness to push higher, while Nvidia, Adobe, Microsoft and Apple led the Nasdaq indexes to solid advances. Alphabet was slated to report earnings after the closing bell.

President Donald Trump over the weekend told CBS that trade talks with Beijing are “doing very well” and sounded confident an agreement with North Korea was on the horizon. – Additional reporting, Reuters, Bloomberg