Stock markets rise as US-China trade worries fade
Wall Street hits new record high as tech stocks surge, but Iseq bucks positive trend
Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz stands beside her husband, Eventbrite co-founder and chairman Kevin Hartz, as she rings the ceremonial bell to celebrate their company’s IPO at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters
European shares joined in a worldwide rise in stock markets as fading concerns about the trade war between the US and China pushed investors into more of a risk-taking mood.
Wall Street hit a new record high, with stocks advancing in early trading as the market enjoyed a break from the recent trade turmoil.
The Iseq slipped 0.2 per cent, going against the generally positive trend across Europe. Ryanair fell 2.2 per cent, undoing gains secured in the previous sessions, closing at €13.48 on a day when Michael O’Leary signalled that he expected further industrial unrest at the airline and that he might not sign another five-year contract to remain chief executive.
Building materials group CRH, which has significant exposure to the US market, added 1.6 per cent to €28.39.
Providence Resources was also a climber, rising 8.3 per cent to 13 cent after the company said it had reduced its losses in the first half of the year and completed a better agreement on the sale of its stake in its Ballyroe prospect.
Food group Kerry fell for the second consecutive day, declining 1.1 per cent to €94.70, while Bank of Ireland also slipped back, closing down 0.7 per cent at €7.39.
UK shares lagged their European peers on a trade war relief rally on Thursday, after better-than-expected UK retail data boosted the pound, which acts as an accounting drag on their foreign revenues.
The FTSE 100 closed up 0.5 per cent. A $3.2 billion share buyback programme from Rio Tinto boosted the shares of the miner by around 2.5 per cent. Other companies in the industry such as Fresnillo and Antofagasta also rose in roughly the same proportion. Basic materials and financials were the main sectors contributing to the FTSE’s rise.
Shares in drinks giant Diageo were up 1.6 per cent as it reported results in line with expectations despite a bigger-than-anticipated hit from foreign exchange movements.
Lower levels of market volatility hurt quarterly revenues at trading platform IG Group, sending it down 9.8 per cent.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up 0.7 per cent while the leading euro zone stock index scored its ninth straight session of gains, up 1.1 per cent, its best performance in two months. In Germany, the Dax rose 0.9 per cent, while the Cac 40 in France posted a near 1.1 per cent climb.
Automotive, banking and mining sectors led gains as investors stayed resolutely focused on hopes that the latest shots in the trade war could drive the dispute towards resolution.
Auto stocks, which gained 1.8 per cent, were also helped by analysts at Kepler Cheuvreux upgrading its recommendation on the sector.
Shares in Belgian telecoms company Proximus climbed 2.5 per cent, with traders saying Citi had upgraded its recommendation on the stock.
German fashion retailer Tom Tailor issued a profit warning, sending its shares down 12 per cent, after it blamed slower growth on the unusually long, hot summer.
The S&P 500 Index jumped to a record high, led by the technology, healthcare and financial sectors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also reached a new high, with all 30 constituents flashing green at one point.
Shares of Caterpillar rose 2.3 per cent and provided the biggest boost to the blue-chip index.
Technology stocks rebounded, with Apple rising 1.3 per cent, Facebook up 1.7 per cent and Google up 1.5 per cent, while chipmakers Intel and Micron also made gains.
Online meeting and planning service Eventbrite rose as much as 68 per cent after raising $230 million in its initial public offering (IPO). The San Francisco company sold 10 million shares for $23 each. The shares then opened at $36 on Thursday and were up 63 per cent to $37.57 shortly after noon New York time.
– Additional reporting: Reuters/Bloomberg