Markets flat as US-China tussle keeps investors on edge

Dublin’s Iseq fell 0.65% on the day

Ryanair rose almost 2% on the Dublin stock market on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Ryanair rose almost 2% on the Dublin stock market on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Markets were flat on Tuesday with investors kept on edge by a diplomatic tussle over Chinese tech companies operations in the US and doubts over progress of an aid package in the country.

Dublin

The Iseq all-share index lost 0.65 per cent on the day, a move that was broadly in line with its European peers.

In a results driven move, Permanent TSB fell 2.02 per cent to 48c after the bank posted a €54 million net loss in the first half of this year, compared to a €21 million profit for the same period in 2019, it said in its interim report, published on Tuesday.

AIB climbed 3.55 per cent to €1.14 while Bank of Ireland gained 0.38 per cent to close at €1.84.

Ryanair rose 1.97 per cent to €11.11 after British rival EasyJet said it’s seeing a faster than expected rebound in passenger demand following the lifting of lockdowns and is accelerating the addition of flights. The airline operated with 84 per cent of seats full in July.

Paddy Power-owner Flutter Entertainment slipped 1.25 per cent to€130.00 despite rival William Hill gaining more than 7 per cent after Deutsche Bank analysts awarded the stock a “buy” rating.

A standout loser on the day was Irish Continental Group in the absence of stock specific news. Shares in the company fell 4.75 per cent to €3.21.

London

London’s blue-chip FTSE 100 ended flat on Tuesday as mixed earnings China weighed.

Spirits maker Diageo was the biggest drag on the FTSE 100 as coronavirus lockdowns saw it take a £1.3 billion writedown and report a bigger-than-expected decline in underlying net sales.

Oil major BP, meanwhile, posted its best day in two months after unveiling earlier than expected a plan to reduce its oil and gas output by 40 per cent and boost investments in renewable energy over the next decade.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 rose 0.9 per cent as EasyJet jumped 8.8 per cent on plans to fly at 40 per cent of its capacity over the rest of the summer, while a first-half profit beat saw insurer Direct Line hit five-month highs.

But a 9.4 per cent slump for Babcock following a plunge in quarterly profit, capped gains.

Europe

After sliding as much as 0.6 per cent, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index recouped some of the losses in late afternoon trading to close 0.1 per cent lower.

The broader oil & gas sector rose 2.5 per cent on BP’s gain with other growth-linked cyclical sectors such as automakers and banks also rising.

German drugs and pesticides group Bayer slipped 2.4 per cent as moves to settle lawsuits over its Roundup weedkiller contributed to a €9.5 billion loss.

Banking-heavy Italian and Spanish indexes were both higher, as data showed Italy standing out as the main beneficiary of the European Central Bank’s efforts to support a virus-stricken euro zone economy. Intesa Sanpaolo, which just sealed a takeover of smaller rival UBI, gained 5 per cent after saying it would seek clearance to return more cash to shareholders.

New York

Ralph Lauren slumped 8 per cent to its lowest since mid-May after quarterly revenue plunged by nearly $1 billion due to coronavirus-led store closures and a slowdown in global demand for luxury goods.

American International Group (AIG) also led declines on the S&P 500 with a 6.5 per cent drop as its quarterly adjusted profit slumped.

Meanwhile, with Microsoft looking to buy short-video app TikTok’s US operations, US president Donald Trump said on Monday the government should get a “substantial portion” of any deal price. Microsoft’s shares fell 2.6 per cent.

Take-Two Interactive Software rose 4.8 per cent as it raised its annual adjusted sales forecast on demand for its video game franchises Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K. Rival Activision Blizzard edged higher ahead of its results due after the closing bell. – Additional reporting: Reuters