Kudlow comments stoke US-China trade fears

Iseq treads water on thin trading volumes

Global shares handed back gains on Thursday after comments from the White House undid optimism over a potential China-US trade deal. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Washington may move ahead with more tariffs on Chinese goods.


The Iseq slipped by just over 0.3 per cent on thin trading volumes. Among the the worst performing shares were Irish companies with a global focus as concerns about international trade were exacerbated by the US-China dispute.

Glanbia, which has substantial operations in the US, fell 2.6 per cent to €14.28. Kingspan fell 2.2 per cent to close the session at €47.36. Kerry Group was down 1.6 per cent to €104.20 per share.

Among the best performers in Dublin were companies in the housing sector following data from the Property Services Regulatory Authority showing a bounce back in the market in April and May. Cairn Homes was up 3.8 per cent to €1.19, while Glenveagh Properties was up 4 per cent to 73 cents.



The FTSE 100 closed 0.2 per cent lower, after slipping as much as 0.5 per cent. The mid-cap FTSE 250 added 0.3 per cent, helped by a relatively steady sterling.

Glencore gave up 5 per cent, its biggest one-day fall in almost a year, after a mine owned by the company collapsed in southwest Congo. The company confirmed that 19 artisanal miners had died and warned of possible further fatalities.

Home improvement retailer Kingfisher added 4.2 per cent after it named Carrefour's Thierry Garnier as its new chief executive.

Mid-cap Senior, which makes a variety of components used in commercial and military jets and counts Boeing as one of its top customers, tumbled 10 per cent on news that US regulators had identified a new risk to Boeing's grounded 737 Max. The stock endured its worst day in more than 2.5 years as a rating downgrade from Barclays also weighed.


While most major country indexes in the region closed flat to lower, Germany's trade-sensitive Dax outperformed, up 0.2 per cent, boosted by Bayer's 8.7 per cent rally.

Bayer surged after the group hired a lawyer and formed a committee to address glyphosate litigation, and as activist shareholder Elliott Associates said it had built up a €1.1 billion stake in the company and considered the stock undervalued.

The biggest gainer on the Stoxx 600 index was H&M, up 13.7 per cent after the Swedish fashion retailer said sales of its summer collections had got off to a good start and that it was selling more clothes at full price. Its upbeat tone drove a 2.2 per cent rise in the retail sector.

On the flip side, Chr Hansen tumbled 13.8 per cent after the Danish food ingredients maker cut its revenue outlook for the year, hit by a disappointing performance at its food colouring and animal health businesses in the latest quarter.


Financials rose 0.62 per cent with big lenders leading the charge ahead of results of the second part of Federal Reserve's annual stress test for banks. Semiconductor companies, which have a sizable revenue exposure to China, traded higher, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index up 1.15 per cent. The S&P technology sector was up 0.10 per cent.

Boeing fell 2.3 per cent, pressuring the blue-chip Dow Jones index, after Reuters reported that the US Federal Aviation Administration identified a new flaw in the aircraft-maker's grounded 737 Max jets.

Walgreens Boots Alliance gained 4.6 per cent, the most on the S&P 500, after the drugstore chain beat analysts' expectations for quarterly profit.

Ford Motor rose 2 per cent after the carmaker said it will have cut 12,000 jobs in Europe by the end of next year to try to return the business to profit.

Conagra Brands tumbled 11.4 per cent, the most among S&P 500 companies, after the packaged food company's quarterly sales and profit fell short of analysts' estimates. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times