Bank and energy stocks lift European markets

Tech companies slide amid US-China tensions

European equities gained as investors kept an eye on Washington stimulus talks, with banks and oil shares the biggest risers. Markets bounced, having earlier turned lower on news that China will sanction 11 Americans in retaliation for similar moves by the US against Hong Kong officials last week.

But technology stocks, which have outperformed so far this year, slid on worries over the heightening US-China rift.


The Iseq closed up almost 0.2 per cent as many of its key stocks managed to hold on to their gains as markets finished off their session highs. Ryanair continued its recovery with a rise of 3 per cent, closing at €11.86, while building materials group CRH advanced 1.3 per cent to €33.11.

The Irish banks joined in the positive momentum for financial stocks across Europe, with Bank of Ireland finishing up 4.3 per cent at €1.94, and AIB adding 3.8 per cent to close just below €1.06.

However, packaging group Smurfit Kappa was among the fallers, declining 0.9 per cent to €29.46, and hotel company Dalata also sank, closing 2 per cent lower at €2.45. Glanbia also lost ground, with the food group ending the session at €9.50, down about 3.2 per cent.


After gaining as much as 1.2 per cent, the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 closed up 0.3 per cent, with BP and Royal Dutch Shell among the biggest boosts to the blue-chip index. Oil prices rose on an improvement in Chinese factory data, hopes for more coronavirus-related stimulus from the US, and as Saudi Aramco forecast rising energy demand.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 closed at a seven-week high with shares of shipping services provider Clarkson jumping 12.1 per cent as it resumed dividend after a first-half profit rise.

Fashion retailer Superdry jumped 18.7 per cent to a one-month high after agreeing a new £70 million pound (€78m) lending facility to get it through the coronavirus crisis

Carnival jumped 9.3 per cent as the cruise operator said it planned to resume AIDA Cruises sailing operations from German ports at the start of September.

AA also surged after Sky News reported that Apollo Global Management was weighing a takeover bid for the roadside recovery group.


The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.3 per cent, with gains of 1.5 per cent for Spanish stocks and 0.7 per cent for the Italian FTSE MIB. France’s Cac 40 rose 0.4 per cent, while the German Dax nudged up 0.1 per cent.

French oil giant Total joined in the gains for oil stocks, rising 1.4 per cent as crude oil prices climbed.

Dutch tech investor Prosus slid for a third day running as the US prepared to ban two popular Chinese apps WeChat and TikTok.

Norwegian energy firm Equinor rose 1.4 per cent after it appointed a company executive, Anders Opedal, as chief executive officer.


The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq fell in the first hours of trading as investors rotated out of heavyweight technology stocks and moved into lagging growth-linked sectors as they awaited word on progress in the fiscal support bill to support the US’s battered economy.

The blue-chip Dow Jones index touched a more than five-month high, boosted by industrial and financials stocks. Aircraft manufacturer Boeing was the biggest gainer on the index, adding about 4.2 per cent.

Eastman Kodak sank 30.7 per cent after its $765 million loan agreement with the US government to produce pharmaceutical ingredients was put on hold due to "recent allegations of wrongdoing".

Microsoft fell 2.2 per cent as sources said its bid to carve out parts of TikTok from its Chinese owner ByteDance will be a technically complex endeavour that could test the patience of the White House. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters