Oil boosts energy stocks while tech pulls Nasdaq lower in US

Uneventful day in Dublin sees Iseq Overall index fall 0.56 per cent

Energy stocks, and particularly oil and mining stocks, advanced on Wednesday as crude prices advanced. For the most part investors in Europe and the US shrugged off a weaker session in Asia on the back of rising tensions between the US and China.

However, fears of further tech regulation in the US pulled the Nasdaq lower.


An uneventful day on the Irish stock exchange saw the benchmark Iseq overall index close down 0.56 per cent.

Comments from Ryanair assured some investors that there wouldn't be any surprises at next week's annual general meeting (agm) and the stock closed up 1.15 per cent at €13.20. The budget airline also announced its "biggest ever" London schedule for summer 2019, with 23 new routes.


Ormonde Mining, meanwhile, fell 10.5 per cent on its Irish listing, albeit with very small volume, after it reported progress at its Spanish plant. On its London listing the company's fall was more muted and it dropped 4.81 per cent on almost a million shares traded.

Baked goods group Aryzta fell on the day, after a very strong climb on Tuesday when a number of banks conditionally signed on as underwriters for its planned €800 million share placing. The stock closed down 2.7 per cent to €8.757 with low volume traded across the Irish index.

Elsewhere, AIB and Bank of Ireland climbed, up 0.47 per cent to €4.688 and 0.34 to €7.365 respectively. In advance of its agm next week, Green Reit dipped 0.26 per cent to €1.54 and was the most traded across the Iseq on the day.


Oil majors gained on stronger crude prices on Wednesday with shares in BP and Shell up 1.64 per cent and 1 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, a profit warning hit energy provider SSE, which tumbled 8.28 per cent. It said profit for the first six months of the year would halve due to the impact of dry, still and warm weather and persistently high gas prices.

Tobacco companies were in focus after a Bloomberg report, citing a Food and Drug Administration document, said British American Tobacco (BAT) had not produced adequate data to show its Camel smokeless tobacco pouches were a less risky alternative to cigarettes. Nevertheless, BAT shares increased 5.87 per cent, putting it at the top of the FTSE 100.

BAT rival Imperial Brands gained 3.18 per cent.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 advanced 0.47 per cent, despite declines by Asian stocks after President Donald Trump said the United States was taking a "tough stance" with China on trade.

Dutch biotech firm Galapagos soared 17.58 per cent to the top of the Stoxx after positive trial results for a drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Shares in Zara owner Inditex rose 4.11 per cent after the fashion retailer said it expected profit margin growth in the second half.

Salvatore Ferragamo advanced 4.07 per cent after traders cited rumours of a potential takeover. The family that controls the fashion group is not interested in selling its stake, a spokeswoman for the group said.

German utility E.ON fell 3.49 per cent after Morgan Stanley analysts cut their target price on the stock.

New York

Boeing rose 2.6 per cent and Caterpillar 0.9 per cent. The markets had got off to a weak start as shares of six major web and internet service companies, including Apple, slid after their executives were scheduled to detail their consumer data privacy practices to a US Senate panel on September 26th.

Apple was down 0.6 per cent. Twitter, Alphabet and Amazon, among the companies to testify, were between flat to down 4 per cent. Facebook, not among the six companies to testify, was down 1.6 per cent.

Gilead Sciences rose 2.2 per cent after its rheumatoid arthritis drug, being developed jointly with Galapagos, met the main goal of a study. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business