Opec agreement drives stocks higher as trade fears subside
Ireland’s Iseq overall index advances 0.62%, underperforming European markets
Energy stocks galvanised by an Opec agreement on a modest increase in oil production helped drive a bounce in European shares. Photograph: Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters
Better-than-expected euro zone economic data and energy stocks galvanised by an Opec agreement on a modest increase in oil production helped drive a bounce in European shares at the end of a tumultuous week marred by trade war worries.
In the US, the Opec agreement boosted Wall Street although a drop in technology stocks capped gains.
Troubled food group Aryzta was the top performer on Ireland’s benchmark Iseq overall index on Friday, which closed up 0.62 per cent. The company bounced off lows, ending 7.92 per cent higher at €1.05.
Budget airline Ryanair ended slightly higher despite being weak for most of the day. The airline had suffered slightly on the back of air traffic control strike concerns in France but ultimately closed up 0.33 per cent at €16.60.
On the property front there was significant volume traded in both Cairn Homes and Hibernia Reit on the last day of the trading week. Cairn closed up 1.14 per cent at €1.77 while Hibernia advanced 0.91 per cent to €1.554.
It was a mixed day for Ireland’s pillar banks with AIB closing near the top of the index at €4.88, up 2.18 per cent. Meanwhile, Bank of Ireland fell 0.43 per cent to €6.95.
The FTSE 100 ended the day up 1.7 per cent, a rise which allowed it to finish on a weekly gain of 0.6 per cent and avoid a fifth straight week of losses.
Heavyweight BP rose 3 per cent as oil prices jumped.
Lenders also provided a lift to the index on Friday with domestically exposed banks Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds, which would benefit from tighter monetary policy, rising 1.8 and 1.2 per cent respectively.
Elsewhere, online clothing retailer Asos fell 5.6 per cent on worries that a US internet tax ruling could hit its local earnings.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the day up 1.1 per cent but recorded a 1.1 per cent fall on the week as fears of rising global protectionism sank in, particularly for the autos sector.
Shares in European carmakers and Germany’s Dax briefly tanked in afternoon trading after president Donald Trump threatened a 20 per cent tariff on car imports from the EU.
German carmakers Daimler, Volkswagen and BMW, which are heavily reliant on US car sales, ended the day down 0.3 per cent, 1.1 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively.
France’s Total and Royal Dutch Shell both added 3.3 per cent.
Banks drove the lion’s share of gains after the 35 largest US banks cleared the first stage of the Federal Reserve’s annual stress test. The European banks index climbed 1.3 per cent with Italian lenders leading the gainers. BPER Banca jumped 4.7 per cent after Unipol raised its stake in the Italian regional lender.
Harley-Davidson fell 1.7 per cent. The US bike maker has in the past warned of a “significant impact” on its sales if the European Union decides to increase duties on motorcycles in retaliation.
The benchmark Brent crude following three days of declines after OPEC agreed on Friday to a modest increase in output to compensate for losses in production at a time of rising global demand. Exxon Mobil rose 2.5 per cent and Chevron gained, lending the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Dow.
The technology sector was the only one in the red. Leading the decliners among tech was open source software provider Red Hat, which slumped after its current-quarter and full-year revenue missed analysts’ estimates due to a strengthening dollar. Microsoft’s decline and Facebook’s fall also weighed.
– Additional reporting: Reuters