Investors focus on Trump’s infrastructure spending plans

DCC and Greencore gain in London while Bank of Ireland the biggest mover in Dublin

Copper shipment: Miners and banks provided the main support to European shares amid continued optimism over major construction plans in the US. File photograph: Eliseo Fernandez/Reuters

Banks and miners once again provided the main support to European shares amid continued investor optimism about the benefits of a Donald Trump presidency, even as energy-related stocks stumbled.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index had lost much of its early buoyancy by the time US trading neared but was still up 0.3 per cent as banks eyed a boost from higher interest rates and mining company shares rose on the back of Mr Trump’s promises of major infrastructural spending.

It was a busy day for Irish companies with Dublin-listed Kingspan and Irish Continental updating investors. Irish-headquartered but London-listed DCC and Greencore also had interims out.


Bank of Ireland rose 1 cent to finish on 23 cent. Permanent TSB gained 4.5 per cent to end the day at €2.81. Paddy Power Betfair was up 1.3 per cent to €102.95 after rival William Hill said it expects full-year operating profit to be at the higher end of its forecast, as its online business returned back to growth in the second half.


Irish Ferries’ owner ICG closed down marginally at €4.37 after it announced a 1.6 per cent rise in revenue in the 10 months to the end of October.

Kingspan, which gained last week on news of Mr Trump presidency win, closed down 0.2 per cent to €22.78 following its latest update. The company said it expects to deliver full-year trading profit of about €335 million – up by more than 30 per cent on 2015.

Iseq heavyweight CRH gained after a sell-off on Friday saw it lose 1.2 per cent. It closed up 1.7 per cent on Monday to €32.50.


Britain’s top share index closed higher on Monday following a rally in banking and mining stocks, although a slump in utilities kept a lid on broader market gains. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up 0.34 per cent at 6,753.18 points after earlier rising as high as 6,814.19.

Utilities stocks, seen as bond proxies, were the worst hit by higher bond yields prompted by the risk of faster inflation and wider budget deficits if Mr Trump pursues an infrastructural spending spree.

Severn Trent fell 3.8 per cent, the worst performer in the FTSE 100 index, while shares in SSE, United Utilities and National Grid dropped by between 2.8 and 3.2 per cent. Russian gold and silver miner Polymetal fell 4.9 per cent following a drop in gold prices.

Support services firm DCC rose 2.8 per cent after saying it expected full-year profit to come in ahead of expectations. Beyond the blue-chips, Greencore Group rose 9.5 per cent after saying that it planned to buy convenience food manufacturer Peacock Foods for $747.5 million in a bid to transform its US business.


The French Cac 40 and German Dax both closed higher on Monday, up by 0.4 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively.

Among companies moving on corporate news, Sonova Holding rose 1.1 per cent after the hearing-aid retailer forecast a pick-up in sales growth in the second half of the year.

Siemens climbed 0.8 per cent after agreeing to buy Mentor Graphics for $4.5 billion to expand its industrial software capabilities.

Intrum Justitia jumped 7.8 per cent after Europe's biggest debt collector said it is acquiring competitor Lindorff in a $1.96 billion deal.


The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones pared early gains and were little changed on Monday as investors looked for more clarity on Mr Trump’s policies.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was lower, adding to last week’s losses.

The Dow, which capped off its best week in five years on Friday, hit a another record-high just after the start of trading.

The Dow was up 4.73 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 18,852.39 in early trading, the S&P 500 was down 4.31 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 2,160.14 and the Nasdaq was down 33.28 points, or 0.64 per cent, at 5,203.84.

Apple's 3.9 per cent fall weighed the most on all the three indexes.

Harman International rose 25.2 per cent to $109.80 after Samsung Electronics announced an $8 billion deal to buy the company.

Mentor Graphics surged more than 19 per cent to a record high of $36.55 after the announcement that Siemens is to buy the company.

– (Additional reporting: Agencies)

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist