Global uncertainty over US-China trade war ends European rally

Ryanair advances despite Easyjet posting solid passenger growth in last six months

Global trade jitters stoked worries concerning the ongoing US-China trade row hit European shares on Friday, ending a three-day rally.


Ryanair took off despite competitor EasyJet reporting unexpectedly good passenger growth for the six months to March 31st. The Irish carrier, which reports full-year results on Monday, hit highs of €11 before closing 1.41 per cent up at €10.805.

AIB fell 1.38 per cent to €3.994 while Bank of Ireland was down 1.01 per cent at €5.395 as lenders across Europe performed poorly.

Hotelier Dalata advanced 5.05 per cent to €5.62, making it one of Dublin's strongest performers on the day. Traders said the owner of the Maldron and Clayton hotel chains lost significant ground in previous days, dropping to €5.35.


“They were really struggling until somebody came in and bought some shares,” said one.

Insulation manufacturer Kingspan slid 1.24 per cent to €44.72 following an announcement that founder and chairman Eugene Murtagh had sold one million shares in the group at €44.50 on Thursday.

Ferry operator Irish Continental Group steamed 1.89 per cent ahead to €4.85 on news that revenues rose 6.1 per cent to €102.3 million in the first four months of this year.

Building materials giant and index heavyweight CRH was down 1.03 per cent at €28.72.


The airline Easyjet climbed 5.34 per cent to 1,025 pence sterling after announcing that it flew 41.6 million passengers during the six months ended March 31st, about five million more than during the same period the previous year.

The carrier lost £275 million during the six months, the first half of its financial year and traditionally quiet for airlines, as costs increased. Revenue rose 7 per cent to £2.3 billion.

The news also lifted Aer Lingus and British Airways owner, International Consolidated Airlines Group, which closed 1.39 per cent ahead at 509p.

Hammerson, owner of Dublin's Dundrum Town Centre and Ilac shopping malls, fell 2.24 per cent to 287.7p after analysts at RBC Capital Markets cut their price target for the stock.

Investors lost their appetite for fast food delivery specialist Just Eat when rival Deliveroo, whose shares do not trade on any stock market, announced that Amazon was backing the business. Just Eat stock tumbled 8.23 per cent to 622p.


Germany's exporter-heavy DAX declined 0.6 per cent, with BMW shedding 5.2 per cent to €66.16 as its shares traded ex-dividend.

Automakers are vulnerable to worsening US-China trade relations. As a group they dropped 1.1 per cent on Friday. Motor vehicle components and technology suppliers were also hit. Paris listed Valeo fell 1.7 per cent while Faurecia dropped 1.3 per cent.

Fast food delivery business Takeaway. com fell 4.6 per cent in Amsterdam to €75 on news that Amazon was funding competitor Deliveroo. Similarly, Frankfurt-listed Delivery Hero shed 2.26 per cent to close at €41.87.

Banks dropped 1.1 per cent with the stocks of most lenders on the sector index ending lower. Italy’s Banco BPM fell 3.2 per cent.

New York

Wall Street see-sawed as China appeared to harden its stance in trade talks with the US.

However, uncertainty around trade led farm equipment maker Deere & Co to cut its full-year forecast, sending its shares down 5.4 per cent.

Deere's decline as well as Caterpillar and 3M pressured the tariff-sensitive industrial sector, which was trading 0.3 per cent lower.

Tech stocks fell 0.3 per cent, with Apple down 0.5 per cent after Nomura Instinet cut its price target on the stock, citing headwinds from the tariff war.

Applied Materials gained 4.7 per cent after the chip-gear maker's upbeat third-quarter profit eased concerns about waning chip demand. Additional reporting – Additional reporting Reuters

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas