US market rally comes to a halt on renewed China trade pessimism
Market report: European markets mixed, but the Iseq finishes ahead of most of its peers
Apple’s shares tumbled nearly 7 per cent, taking its market value below $1 trillion. Photograph: Eric Thayer/Getty Images
Concerns that a trade deal between the United States and China may not be imminent reined-in a rally in world equity markets and reversed gains on Wall Street on Friday. European markets were mixed, but the Iseq in Dublin was ahead of most of its peers, finishing up 1.1 per cent.
Paddy Power Betfair upgraded its full-year profit forecasts as high-rollers from New York splurging boosted its performance in the US. The bookmaker now expects full-year earnings to come in ahead of forecasts following a surge in betting at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. Shares in the company finished up 1.6 per cent in Dublin to €79.90. Davy stockbrokers also upgraded the stock on the back of its strong Q3 results.
Ryanair finished the session ahead by 3.3 per cent to €12.77. The airline announced strong passenger growth figures for September. It also decided to further delay by a month the full implementation of controversial new cabin baggage rules. There were reports of long queues at Stansted airport on Friday morning, as gate staff applied the new procedures to limit cabin baggage.
Smurfit Kappa performed strongly, up 4.3 per cent to €29.40. The stock opened in positive territory after losing ground on Thursday, and it stayed in the black all day.
The FTSE 100 closed 20.54 points, or 0.29 per cent, lower at 7,094.12, losing some gains from earlier in the day as the US market opened.
Sage Group announced the appointment of Steve Hare to the role of chief executive with immediate effect. Mr Hare, formerly the firm’s finance chief, was appointed chief operating officer on an interim basis earlier this year following the departure of boss Stephen Kelly.
His elevation to the top job comes at a difficult time for Sage, which in May axed 30 executives as part of plans to “simplify” the organisation amid a sales slowdown. Investors welcomed the move, with Sage’s share price climbing 14.6p to close at 564.6p.
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels saw its stock slide 19p to 465p after the group blamed Brexit and global trade tensions for contributing to a hefty fall in third-quarter profit. The company saw pre-tax profit tumble 38.2 per cent to £34 million in the three months to September 30th.
The biggest risers on the included Standard Chartered up 22p to 579p, Informa up 725p to 23.4p, and Prudential up 48.5p to 1,615.5p. The biggest fallers were Imperial Brands down 71.5p to 2,618p, Glencore down 8.3p to 320p, British American Tobacco down 75p to 3,342.5p, and GlaxoSmithKline down 32.2p to 1,480p.
In Europe, Germany’s export-heavy DAX had jumped as much as 1.5 per cent earlier in the day, its best session since July, before giving up most of its gains. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.28 per cent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.06 per cent.
The French Cac index finished the session down 0.32 per cent while the Dax ended up 0.44 per cent ahead.
A steep decline in shares of Apple further weighed on sentiment in the US stock market after the iPhone maker warned that sales during the crucial holiday quarter would likely miss expectations. Apple’s shares tumbled nearly 7 per cent, taking its market value below $1 trillion.
That dragged down shares of its US suppliers, mostly chipmakers, and pushed the S&P technology sector 2.66 per cent lower, putting it on track to snap a three-day rally.
Apple aside, most earnings reports were strong. Chevron Corp gained 2.2 per cent after reporting its quarterly profit doubled on record oil and gas production. Starbucks jumped as much as 8.5 per cent to a record high after the coffee chain reported strong sales in the US and China. – (Additional reporting: Reuters/PA)