Markets maintain calm as US-China trade worries ease

Aryzta shares plunge 17 per cent after shareholders back €800m rights issue

On the New York Stock Exchange, the S&P industrial sector rose 1.56 per cent, with Boeing and Caterpillar leading the gains. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

On the New York Stock Exchange, the S&P industrial sector rose 1.56 per cent, with Boeing and Caterpillar leading the gains. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters


European and US stocks rose for a third straight day on Thursday. Industrials gained after President Donald Trump said trade talks with China were “moving along nicely” and healthy results from chipmakers boosted optimism.


The Iseq Overall index closed up 0.1 per cent at 6,156.39. Swiss-Irish food group Aryzta’s shares plunged by 17 per cent to €6.80 after its shareholders in Zurich narrowly backed a motion for a near €800 million rights issue.

AIB fell more than 3 per cent to close at €4.14, after analysts scaled back growth projections for Ireland’s mortgage lending market.

Tullow Oil fell 2 per cent to close at €2.50, after the price of a barrel of crude fell by about 2.5 per cent on world markets.

Companies with heavy exposure to sterling, such as Ryanair, up 3.5 per cent to €12.36, and Paddy Power Betfair, up 3.2 per cent to €78.65, performed well on the back of sterling’s rise against the euro.


The FTSE 100 ended the day slightly lower, weighed by oil stocks. Royal Dutch Shell’s ‘A’ shares fell 76p to 2,424.5p and its ‘B’ shares were down 90p to 2,475p, even after the company cheered one of its “strongest ever quarters” as surging oil prices drove earnings up 37 per cent. The oil giant reported underlying earnings slightly below what analysts had expected.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Wood Group, down 33.2p to 681p; BP, down 25.8p to 541.5p; and Royal Dutch Shell ‘B’, down 90p to 2,475p.

Elsewhere on the London market, shares in Just Eat climbed 38.4p to 646p, despite its prediction that full-year performance would be dented by investment in fighting off rivals and expansion into Latin America.

Its annual revenues are expected to come in at the top end of its £740 million to £770 million range after soaring 41 per cent in the third quarter.

BT shares also pushed higher, closing 20.7p ahead at 261.25p after the telecoms giant said it expected annual profit to come in at the upper end of expectations after what it called an “encouraging” half-year showing.


A European stocks rally came after well-received third-quarter figures from Dutch chipmaker ASM and Swedish technology company Hexagon. The Stoxx Europe 600, a benchmark for Europe, gained 0.5 per cent.

The French Cac was down 0.15 per cent but the German Dax was up 0.18 per cent.

ING shares jumped sharply in Amsterdam, up about 4 per cent by late morning, after the bank announced it had surpassed cost-reduction expectations.

Italian bond yields, which tend to move closely in step with rises and falls in risk sentiment, fell. Dialogue between Italy and the European Commission over the country’s budget plans would not be an “exchange of concessions”, prime minister Giuseppe Conte told a local newspaper on Thursday.

New York

The trade-sensitive The best performer among the 11 major S&P sectors was materials, which jumped 2.78 per cent.

The biggest boost came from DowDuPont’s 6.9 per cent surge after the chemicals producer’s strong results and $3 billion share buyback.

Apple was 0.07 per cent higher ahead of its results after the bell, with technology stocks rising 0.56 per cent to continue their recovery.

Also helping was robust earnings reports from three Apple suppliers, NXP Semiconductors, Dialog Semiconductor and Qorvo, which powered the Philadelphia Semiconductor index’s 3.71 per cent gain.

HanesBrands slid 7.3 per cent after the innerwear maker cut its full-year profit forecast, blaming Sears’s bankruptcy and a stronger dollar.

Of the 348 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results so far, 77 percent have reported earnings above expectations, pushing the earnings growth estimate for S&P 500 companies to 26.2 per cent, as per IBES data from Refinitiv.

Newfield Exploration Co surged 10.4 per cent, the most on the S&P, after Canada’s Encana said it would buy the company in a $5.5 billion deal. – Additional reporting: Reuters/FT/Bloomberg