European shares dip as investors fear more trade war tariffs

Market report: Bank stocks gain ground in Dublin while Tullow Oil climbs in London

Robots weld vehicles in the body shop at the BMW factory in South Carolina: car firms are wary of being at the centre of the next wave of the trade war.

Robots weld vehicles in the body shop at the BMW factory in South Carolina: car firms are wary of being at the centre of the next wave of the trade war.

 

European shares dipped as investors swerved automobile makers amid fears that US tariffs could put the brakes on their profits.

DUBLIN

AIB and Bank of Ireland gained ground as investors anticipated good news when both publish interim results over coming days.

Bank of Ireland fared the better, advancing 1.87 per cent to €7.08. AIB added 0.92 per cent to €4.824.

Ryanair closed 0.64 per cent up at €14.09 after a day that saw a lot of activity in its shares. The airline’s stock gained more than 2.3 per cent in the morning after it announced that its board had approved plans to cut its Dublin fleet by six and to put 300 staff on protective notice, partly in response to ongoing strikes by Irish pilots.

However, those gains pared back after the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association said it would stage its fourth one-day stoppage on August 3rd. More than seven million Ryanair shares traded in Dublin on Wednesday.

LONDON

Irish-based explorer Tullow Oil’s shares climbed 3.09 per cent to close at 223.7 pence sterling after the company reported that it had made a profit after tax of $55 million in the first half of the year, turning around a loss of $348 million during the same period in 2017. The company has its main listing on the London market.

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline’s shares edged down 14.4p to 1,542.4p after it announced plans to slash £400 million in costs and bolster research spending.

Dating series Love Island boosted ITV’s first-half profits to £265 million from £259 million. Shares rose 1.55p to 172p.

Mobile phone group Vodafone reported a revenue hit amid woes in Italy and Spain and an ongoing price war in India, knocking shares 2.56p to 175.1p.

Joules’ shares were down 3p by the close to 343p, despite the retailer reporting higher-than-expected profits for the year.

EUROPE

Car makers suffered after the Washington Post reported that several of US president Donald Trump’s senior advisers believe he plans to impose a 25 per cent tariff on close to $200 billion of foreign-made automobiles later this year.

That further weighed on auto stocks, which had already been hammered earlier in the day by disappointing earning updates from Fiat Chrysler and General Motors, both partly due to trade tariffs.

Fiat Chrysler reported second-quarter operating profit below expectations and it cut its full-year outlook in response to a weaker performance in China. Its shares fell 15.5 per cent, it second biggest daily fall ever.

Fiat’s warning came a few days after the group named its Jeep brand head Mike Manley as chief executive to succeed Sergio Marchionne, who died on Wednesday after complications following surgery. German carmakers Daimler and BMW, which are heavily exposed to the US market, both fell more than 2 per cent.

Luxury stocks gained after conglomerate LVMH reported strong profits and said Chinese shoppers were still snapping up goods at its major brands including Louis Vuitton. Its shares rose 1.8 per cent, hovering near record highs, while Gucci owner Kering added 2.6 per cent and Hermes gained 1.2 per cent.

Deutsche Bank fell 1.4 per cent after Germany’s largest bank detailed progress on its restructuring and announced a 14 per cent drop in net profit in the second quarter, which was marked by weakness in its key trading business.

US

Disappointing earnings reports weighed on Wall Street’s main indices on Wednesday, though a slight uptick in health and tech stocks helped keep the S&P 500 at one-month highs.

Boeing slipped 2.7 per cent and weighed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average index after the aircraft manufacturer maintained its full-year core earnings forecast, but below Wall Street expectations.

General Motors fell 7 per cent after the automaker cut its 2018 profit forecast, citing rising steel and aluminium costs due to tariffs. Ford dipped 3.8 per cent ahead of results after the bell.

AT&T fell 4.1 per cent and pressured the S&P 500 after the company’s quarterly revenue missed estimates. – Additional reporting: Reuters