Iseq flat as European markets staunch the sell-off

Airbus and spirits makers among stronger European performers to buck negative trend

Airbus shares rebounded on Thursday. Photograph: Getty

Airbus shares rebounded on Thursday. Photograph: Getty


European shares made small gains on Thursday after their worst sell-off in two months a day earlier, as a rebound in Airbus and spirits makers outweighed the latest round of weak economic data from the euro zone and the US.


The Iseq was virtually unchanged at the end of the session.

Paddy Power owner, Flutter Entertainment, fell 2.3 per cent to close at €89.66, a day after the bookmaker announced a £10 billion all-share deal to buy the Canadian Stars Group, the owner of PokerStars.

Insurance group FBD fell 1.8 per cent to €8.92 on the day that several of its peers appeared before an Oireachtas committee to deny they were making “super profits” in the Irish market. FBD was not among the companies represented at the meeting.

Bank of Ireland rose 2.9 per cent to close at €3.70. Stockbrokers predicted that Irish bonds and asset prices would recover if the UK is afforded a Brexit extension.


Company founder Ray Kelvin has seen more millions wiped off the value of his stake in Ted Baker after the retailer’s shares plummeted as it slid to a loss.

The company said heavy discounting across the high street, consumer uncertainty and a poorly received spring/summer collection all contributed to the fall. Shares in the company slid by 370.5p to 555p.

Imperial Brands edged upwards after chief executive Alison Cooper announced plans to stand down after nine years in the role and two decades with the tobacco giant. Shares in the company lifted by 10p to 1,840p at the close of play.

Elsewhere, shares in Stagecoach closed higher after it confirmed it will take the UK’s Department for Transport to court early next year over a decision to ban the firm from bidding for three rail contracts. It was blocked from bidding for the East Midlands, West Coast and South Eastern franchises over pension deficit concerns. Shares in the bus and train operator closed up 1.3p at 133p.


The German Dax fell by 2.76 per cent while the French Cac moved 0.3 per cent higher.

Markets were initially roiled after the World Trade Organisation approved 10 per cent US tariffs on European-made Airbus planes and 25 per cent duties on goods ranging from French wine to Scotch whisky.

After the initial shock of the decision, intended by the Trump administration as punishment for illegal EU aircraft subsidies, traders judged the detailed list of products affected showed the actual economic impact should be minimal.

Airbus, luxury stocks such as Louis Vuitton-owner LVMH, and spirits makers Remy Cointreau and Pernod gained between 0.8 per cent and 6.4 per cent as a list showed that Washington had exempted some products from tariffs.

Shares in Swedish group H&M jumped 4 per cent after the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer reported its first quarterly rise in pretax profit in over two years.


US stocks turned positive in choppy trading as US services sector activity slowed to a three-year low, raising expectations of another interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve to stem a wider economic downturn.

On Wall Street, by mid-afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 24.58 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 26,054.04, the S&P 500 gained 2.47 points, or 0.09 per cent, to 2,890.08 and the Nasdaq Composite added 26.28 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 7,811.53.

PepsiCo rose 4.1 per cent after the company beat quarterly expectations as higher advertising and new low-calorie versions of Gatorade boosted demand for its beverages in north America. Its shares propped up the consumer staples sector by 0.75 per cent.

Leading the decliners on the S&P 500 was Corona maker Constellation Brands, which fell about 6 per cent as it took a $839 million markdown in the value of its investment in pot firm Canopy Growth during the quarter. – Additional reporting: Reuters/Bloomberg/PA