Stocks calmer on Tuesday but trade fears linger

Ireland’s benchmark Iseq overall index up 0.28%, outperforming European peers

European shares endured another choppy session on Tuesday with the Pan European Stoxx 600 index closing flat on the day.

Ireland fared slightly better, with the benchmark Iseq overall index in the green on the day, while Germany's Dax closed down.

In the US, stocks edged higher, with General Electric and technology stocks helping Wall Street recoup some of Monday's losses.


Ireland’s benchmark Iseq overall index gained 0.28 per cent on Tuesday following a torrid start to the week in a global sell-off prompted by trade war fears.


Food group Aryzta was the big loser on the day following an analyst downgrade from Credit Suisse. The beleaguered baker fell 7.98 per cent to €12.45 on its secondary Irish listing after being downgraded to "underperform" from "neutral".

Building materials giant CRH recovered ground after suffering on Monday. The company closed up 1.76 per cent to €30.63, also positive for the Iseq which is heavily weighted toward CRH.

Kingspan too had a strong day, closing up 1.07 per cent to €43.36 on decent volume.

Irish banks underperformed European peers with Bank of Ireland falling 1.98 per cent to €6.695. Irish peer AIB fared slightly better, although, on strong volume, it fell 0.6 per cent to €4.636.

Finally, budget airlines across the board were lower on Tuesday with Irish carrier Ryanair no different. The airline closed down 1.15 per cent to €15.96.


Following a slow start, the FTSE 100 accelerated gains and ended the session up 0.4 per cent after a 2.2 per cent loss on Monday.

Among individual stocks, cruise company Carnival posted the best performance, up more than 3 per cent. Its shares had plunged more than 11 per cent during the previous session after it cut profit targets.

The sectors which weighed the most on the FTSE during Monday’s sell-off provided some support, with oil majors and miners accounting for most of the gains as the price of oil rose on the back of uncertainty over Libyan oil exports.

Among fallers, mid-cap Inmarsat dropped 12.5 per cent after Eutelsat said it did not intend to make an offer for the British group, just a day after the French satellite group said it was considering going head-to-head with EchoStar in a battle for the British company.

Among small stocks, struggling floor coverings retailer Carpetright fell 5.7 per cent after it reported a loss for 2017-18 in another sign that the UK high street is struggling.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 was unchanged in percentage terms and remained at its lowest level since mid-April following Monday’s 2 per cent slide.

Germany’s exporter-heavy DAX, which has been the most sensitive to trade tensions, gave up gains to end 0.3 per cent lower.

While autos, a sector in the firing line of higher tariffs, retreated 0.1 per cent, the sectors worst hit by the trade-related sell-off were Tuesday’s strongest gainers.

Bid speculation boosted French payments processor Ingenico nearly 5 per cent after Bloomberg reported on Monday that the firm was drawing preliminary interest from several private equity firms.

In results-driven moves, the food and biopharma testing firm Eurofins jumped 8.2 per cent after saying it was raising its revenue target for the year.


General Electric jumped about 7 per cent in heavy trading, on track for its biggest one-day gain in over three years, after the company said it will spin off its healthcare business and divest its stake in oil-services company Baker Hughes.

The S&P technology index meanwhile rose 0.39 per cent, while shares of Netflix jumped 3 per cent.

Harley-Davidson fell a day after the company said it would move production of motorcycles shipped to the EU to its international facilities.

US homebuilder Lennar jumped about 6 per cent as strong housing demand helped the company report better-than-expected quarterly results. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

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