Brexit and trade war optimism boosts global markets

Markets report: Irish index ends the day up on hopes for a more benign Brexit

Brexit and trade war optimism boosted global markets on Monday, as the British government found its planned meaningful vote on its Brexit deal blocked.

Prime minister Boris Johnson was looking for support from MPs after pulling the vote on Saturday when they forced him to ask the EU to delay Brexit. But House of Commons speaker John Bercow said that parliamentary conventions meant the government could not bring the same vote again.


The Irish index ended the day 1.69 per cent higher at 6,572.51, boosted by banking, food and building stocks as hopes for a more benign Brexit rose.

Irish banks mirrored gains among their European counterparts to close the session higher. AIB rose 4.3 per cent to close at €3.28, with Bank of Ireland rising 2.6 per cent to €4.452.


Strength in European airlines lifted Ryanair 2.7 per cent to €12.22. The company was in the Commercial Court today to see its bid to fast-track its action over a planned strike that was halted by an injunction last August adjourned for two weeks.

Food stocks also rose, although gains were more muted. Kerry rose 1.73 per cent to €105.80, while Glanbia was largely flat at €10.96. Total Produce was up just under 1 per cent to close the day at €1.488.


UK midcaps closed the session with modest gains on Monday on hopes that a no-deal Brexit will be avoided. The FTSE 100 dipped in the immediate aftermath of the news the Mr Bercow refused to allow a vote on the Brexit divorce deal, but it bounced back soon after, closing the day up 13.07 points at 7,163.64. However the rise was considerably below the morning peak of 7,196.42.

Meanwhile, the market was boosted after Larry Kudlow, an economic adviser to US president Donald Trump, made positive noises over the country's trade war with China. "Things look pretty good," he said. It helped push the FTSE higher despite downward pressure from the pound,

In company news, private equity giant Advent International is ready to commit to the government that it will protect UK jobs at Cobham as it seeks approval for its £4 billion takeover of the defence firm. Just Eat has posted rapidly growing sales in the third quarter despite a backdrop of "softer consumer spending". The food delivery company saw sales jump 25 per cent to £247.5 million in the three months to September, although this represented a slowdown from the prior half-year.


European shares broke a three-day run of losses on Monday, as investors stuck to hopes that Britain will avoid a disorderly exit from the European Union, while positive corporate updates and comments on US-China trade talks added to the upbeat mood.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended the session 0.6 per cent higher. Germany’s Dax was up by 1 per cent to 12,758.44, while France’s Cac was up by 0.35 per cent to 5,656.13.


US president Donald Trump praised efforts to end the US-China dispute, while White House adviser Larry Kudlow said tariffs scheduled for December could be withdrawn if talks go well. 

"Trade news on the whole seems positive," said Rick Meckler, a partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey. "Political news is so overwhelming, in a way, that I think investors are beginning to tune it out." 
On Friday, Chinese vice-premier Liu He said that Beijing will collaborate with the United States to address mutual concerns on the trade war. Stocks investors are also gearing up for more high-profile earnings reports this week from such companies as Microsoft. 

The Dow rose 57.44 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 26,827.64, the S&P 500 gained 20.52 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 3,006.72 and the Nasdaq added 73.44 points, or 0.91 per cent, to 8,162.99. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist