Mixed trading across Europe as worries persist over Trump’s tariffs
In Dublin the Iseq is flat, while GKN drags the FTSE 100 into the red
Traders at the New York Stock Exchange on March 12th. Stocks gave up early gains as uncertainty over the prospect of tariffs undid some of the market’s recent gains. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
The Iseq in Dublin was flat as trading remained choppy across Europe on geopolitical concerns.
Engineering firm GKN and miners dragged the FTSE 100 into the red, with a broker downgrade for Just Eat also weighing on the London market.
The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average in New York fell as worries about the metal tariffs signed into law last week by US president Donald Trump weighed on industrial stocks.
Swiss-Irish bakery group Aryzta, which has its main listing in Zurich, finished the session in Dublin down 1.4 per cent, after announcing half-year revenues down 6.3 per cent. Its shares fluctuated, however, and were up 2 per cent at one point in the afternoon. Aryzta told investors it hoped to raise €450 million from asset sales this year as it looks to regain momentum following a turbulent period.
Tullow Oil finished the day up almost 2.4 per cent after it announced its intention to sell $650 million of bonds to refinance near-term debt.
Independent News & Media shares were down almost 5 per cent as a seller slipped several tranches into the market during the after-session.
Shares of State-controlled Permanent TSB, which trades a tiny proportion of its stock on the Iseq, were down 3.5 per cent. The bank has been under pressure since news emerged it is planning to sell non-performing mortgage loans, for which the natural buyers would appear to be so-called “vulture funds” that politicians are threatening to regulate.
GKN, the biggest faller, ending the day down 11p or 2.53 per cent at 424.1p. It came after GKN rejected a final £8.1 billion takeover offer from Melrose Industries, saying it “continues to fundamentally undervalue” the engineering giant. Melrose shares closed 4.9 per cent lower at 213.5p, making it one of the worst performers on the FTSE 250.
Shares in Just Eat also took a knock following a downgrade from Deutsche Bank from sell to hold. The takeaway delivery firm ended the day down 0.86 per cent at 781.6p.
Low-cost airline EasyJet topped gainers, closing 2.85 per cent higher at 1,607.5p after Credit Suisse raised its price target for the company.
A stronger pound weighed on big dollar-earnings stocks such as consumer staples. Shares in Reckitt Benckiser and tobacco makers British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands fell between 0.4 per cent and 1.9 per cent.
Across Europe, the French CAC 40 closed marginally higher by 0.04 per cent, while the German Dax ended the day up 0.6 per cent.
Innogy was the best performing German stock, soaring 12 per cent at one point in the session, after parent RWE and rival E.ON said they would break up the energy giant and split its assets.
Shares of companies such as Boeing, down 2.6 per cent, and Caterpillar, down 2.3 per cent, have been under pressure as Trump’s protectionist stance on steel and aluminum imports could increase costs and hamper sales abroad. Boeing and Caterpillar were the biggest decliners on the Dow.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq was lifted in part by further signs of official disapproval of Broadcom Ltd’s $117 billion bid for US graphics chipmaker Qualcomm. Broadcom gained 3.7 per cent while shares in Qualcomm were flat.
Shares of Micron Technology rose 10.1 per cent to $60.09 after analysts at Nomura raised their target for the stock to $100.
Oclaro jumped 28 per cent after laser and optical-fibre specialist Lumentum Holdings said it would buy the optical components producer for $1.7 billion. Lumentum’s shares rose 5.5 per cent. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters/PA