UK political bickering fails to dent European stocks

Firming oil prices boost energy stocks globally; Iseq underperforms European peers

The UK’s top share index held its ground as investors assess  Theresa May’s ability to deliver a smooth exit from the EU.

The UK’s top share index held its ground as investors assess Theresa May’s ability to deliver a smooth exit from the EU.

 

Political bickering failed to impact most markets on Tuesday, although the Republic’s Iseq overall index dropped as its peers advanced.

The UK’s top share index held its ground as investors assess Theresa May’s ability to deliver a smooth exit from the European Union.

US stocks rose on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 hitting a four-month high as energy companies got a life from firming oil prices. Meanwhile, strong results from PepsiCo signalled a flying start to the second-quarter earnings season.

Dublin

Ireland’s benchmark Iseq overall index dropped 0.47 per cent on Tuesday, underperforming its European peers.

The smaller Iseq 20 index was led lower by budget airline Ryanair. The airline endured a volatile day of trading on the back of news that 30 flights would be suspended on Thursday as a result of flight action. Shares in Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers fell 1.69 per cent to €15.085.

It was a mixed day for banks on Tuesday with AIB climbing 0.63 per cent to €4.816 as its peer, Bank of Ireland, fell 0.9 per cent to €6.64. AIB’s rating was raised by S&P to investment grade on the back of progress being made by the group in building up its minimum requirement for own funds.

On a generally quiet day there was strong volume in housebuilder Glenveagh which rose 0.68 per cent to €1.186. The bulk of the 7.58 million shares traded relate to one large buyer.

Irish oil explorer Tullow Oil also had a strong day, advancing 5.77 per cent to €2.75 on its Irish listing. The price of oil was also marginally up on the day.

London

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up 0.05 per cent. Politics were back in focus after two Eurosceptic British ministers quit on Monday in protest at May’s Brexit plans. The reaction in markets, however, has been relatively muted.

Shares in Ocado had a volatile session and closed up 9 per cent after a strong initial decline following the publication of the online supermarket’s first-half earnings. Ocado’s shares are up 177 per cent so far in 2018.

TP ICAP was a heavy faller among the mid caps, down 36 per cent, its worst day on record after the interdealer broker issued a profit warning and said that its chief executive was stepping down.

Europe

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.4 per cent to a two and a half week high, scoring its sixth straight day of gains as energy shares supported the market.

Oil stocks were the biggest boost to the STOXX index, rising 1.4 per cent. Crude prices climbed on concern over potential supply shortages as Norwegian oil workers prepared to strike later in the day.

Industrials stocks like Siemens, Deutsche Post and Safran, among the worst hit by news of tariffs, also boosted the European index.

Airbus shares rose 4 per cent after Bank of America Merrill-Lynch added the stock to its “Europe 1” list of preferred stocks.

New York

PepsiCo’s shares surged 3.7 per cent and were poised for their biggest one-day jump in nearly seven years, after the company’s second-quarter results topped estimates on strong sales of snacks. The company also reaffirmed its full-year forecast amid signs of a gradual recovery in its soda business.

The energy index was the next biggest gainer, rising as oil prices rose due to growing supply outages. Shares of Exxon, Chevron and Schlumberger were all up about 1 per cent.

The financial sector was flat, after a surge on Monday. JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup are scheduled to report results on Friday, kicking off the earnings season in earnest. Their shares were little changed.

Tesla rose after chief executive Elon Musk landed a deal with Chinese authorities to build a new auto plant in Shanghai, its first factory outside the United States, that would double its manufacturing capacity.

– Additional reporting: Reuters