Risk appetite returns to market as trade war fears played down

Iseq underperforms peers and Paddy Power Betfair down 1% as name change agreed

Global markets remained on alert over a trade war between the two superpowers China and the US. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP

Global markets remained on alert over a trade war between the two superpowers China and the US. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP


European shares rose as risk appetite picked up after US president Donald Trump played down Washington’s trade war with Beijing, while a slew of earnings reports drove major share moves.


A remarkably quiet day in volume terms on the Iseq saw the index rise 0.18 per cent, underperforming European peers.

AIB was the stand-out performer among European banks, one of the few to be up on the day and rising 0.5 per cent to €4.04. On a volatile day in the market, Ryanair closed 0.9 per cent lower at €10.51 after a report from tour operator TUI dragged the sector down. Shares in Paddy Power Betfair fell more than 1 per cent to €67.16 on the same day shareholders backed the bookmaking group’s plans to change its corporate name to Flutter Entertainment.

Smurfit Kappa also closed lower, down 1.2 per cent to €24.80, after UK rival DS Smith had some of its forecasts revised lower by brokers.

On the other end of the index, Kerry Group performed well, rising 1.16 per cent to €105, as did C&C which closed 2.13 per cent higher at €3.59.


The FTSE 100 increased by 0.76 per cent on the day after a slew of corporate earnings.

Compass Group traded well for the majority of the day, closing the second highest among blue-chip shares. The world’s biggest catering company rose 2.89 per cent after raising its forecast for annual organic revenue growth.

Home improvement retailer Kingfisher led declines with a 3.64 per cent drop after lower first-quarter sales in France, its second-biggest market. Utilities SSE and National Grid Media fell amid media reports on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s plans to nationalise energy networks at below market value.

Tour operator TUI rallied toward the end of the day after a poor start, rising 1.79 per cent despite warning that lack of clarity over the status of its grounded Boeing 737 MAX planes could hit profits.

On the mid-cap index, bank CYBG jumped 3.29 per cent after it swung to a first-half profit. Metro Bank, which has seen volatile trading in recent months after disclosing an accounting error, gained 14.96 per cent as investors awaited details of fresh funding from new and existing investors.


Italian shares led losses in Europe on Wednesday after the country’s deputy prime minister said Rome was ready to break EU fiscal rules.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ultimately closed 0.46 per cent higher.

European banks were weighed down by some disappointing earnings. Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) and Dutch bank ABN Amro both missed profit expectations although the latter closed the day higher. French bank Credit Agricole’s dropped 2.6 per cent after first-quarter net profits dropped after two one-off events offset gains in profitability at some of its businesses.

Autos, which were among the leading gainers a day earlier, were weighed down by shares of Renault and Volkswagen. Renault dipped 0.98 per cent after its Japanese partner Nissan issued a bleak earnings outlook.


Automakers Ford and General Motors gained about 1 per cent on the day after it was suggested that Mr Trump may delay a decision to impose auto tariffs.

Stocks came under pressure earlier in the day after US retail sales unexpectedly fell in April as households cut back on purchases of motor vehicles and a range of other goods, indicating a moderation in economic activity.

Technology stocks jumped 0.7 per cent, providing the biggest boost to markets. A more than 2 per cent gain in shares of Facebook and Alphabet lifted the communication services index by 1.3 per cent, the most among major 11 S&P sectors.

Agilent Technologies’s shares fell 9.9 per cent, the most on the S&P 500, after the medical equipment maker reported quarterly results below estimates.

Perrigo dropped 1.5 per cent as Jefferies lowered its price target on the generic drugmaker after the company’s recent move to divest its higher margin generic pet care business. – Additional reporting: Reuters