European stock rise but tech woes weigh on US shares

Markets: Iseq closes down almost half a per cent

An easing of the fears over US tariffs and some solid company results helped lift European stocks to fresh highs.

But US markets were dragged down early in the day by a drop in technology stocks, with Intel and Twitter partly offset by more positive news from Amazon.


The Irish index of shares closed the session down almost half a per cent, at 6898.11 for the day, bucking the European trend.

Ryanair gained almost 2 per cent to close at €14.41 by the end of the session, despite facing further industrial action from its staff. Traders said the jump was partly down to a general lift in the airline sector, which benefitted Ryanair, and also to views that the company was taking the right decisions on the current labour difficulties.


Banks had a mixed session, with Bank of ireland finishing almost 1.9 per cent higher at €7.35.

AIB, meanwhile, lost 1 per cent to finish the day at €4.85. The bank published results early on Friday morning that were broadly in line with expectations, but traders noted the stock had a good run-in earlier in the week, running out of steam as Friday approached.

CRH ended the session 1.7 per cent lower as its US peers reported some disappointing results.


The UK's top share index advanced on Friday and posted its third week of gains as shares in consumer giant Reckitt Benckiser jumped after results and an easing of trade tensions soothed the broader market.

The blue chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.5 per cent at 7,701.31 points at its close, joining in a rise across the broader European equity market.

Reckitt Benckiser was the biggest single contributor to gains as its shares jumped more than 7 per cent. It marked its best day since November 2008 after second quarter like-for-like sales beat estimates, helped by better-than-expected growth in its infant and child nutrition business. Reckitt also hiked its annual revenue growth target.

Shares in BT also rose 5 per cent after the telecom group beat earnings expectations, though Rightmove declined more than 3 per cent after the company gave a half-year earnings update. Elsewhere a rise across energy stocks and financials kept the market buoyant.


European stocks rose to fresh six-week highs on Friday, helped by an easing of fears over U.S tariffs and some solid company results. Shares in supermarket retailer Carrefour, construction group Vinci, BT and bank BBVA rose following well-received results, lifting the pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark, closing 0.6 per cent higher.

Hopes of a breakthrough in US-EU trade talks lifted the STOXX to its highest level since mid-June on Thursday as carmakers, which rely on exports for growth, rose sharply. The index ended the week up 1.7 per cent.

Investors however kept a degree of caution. The US Commerce Department will continue its probe into whether auto imports pose a national security risk despite ongoing trade talks with the EU, but US President Donald Trump asked that no action be taken at this time, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday.

Renault rose nearly two percent after a volatile start as the French carmaker achieved record profitability in the first half as emerging market sales surged. Shares in German carmakers BMW and Daimler, which are heavily exposed to the US market, slipped slightly. Mining company BHP Billiton rose 3 percent after BP agreed to buy its US shale oil and gas assets for $10.5 billion. BP shares reversed earlier losses to end 0.5 percent higher.

New York

US stocks fell on Friday as technology shares were dragged lower by disappointing results from Intel and Twitter, although a jump in Amazon after strong earnings helped curb losses. Intel sank 7.4 per cent after its fast-growing data centre business missed estimates as the chipmaker faced stiff rivalry from Advanced Micro Devices, which rose 3.8 per cent.

Twitter’s shares plunged 18.3 per cent after reporting fewer-than-expected monthly active users and warning that the closely watched figure could keep falling as it deletes phony accounts.

Five of the 11 main S&P sectors were lower, with technology’s 0.94 per cent drop, the steepest. The pressure on tech stocks continued from Thursday when Facebook’s dismal forecast caught investors off guard about the growth prospects in a sector that has led the market’s march towards record highs. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

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