Shares rise on hopes of US-China trade resolution

Markets report: London’s main index advances, with exporter stocks gaining

Irish stocks outperformed European peers yesterday as markets globally rallied on hopes of a resolution to a trade dispute between the US and China.

London's main index rose with exporter stocks gaining as sterling fell after the suspension of the UK parliament sharpened concerns of a no-deal Brexit. In Europe, Italian shares rallied on the prospect of a new coalition government in Italy.

In the US, a rise in technology stocks lifted Wall Street while investor fears of a recession dampened on the positive progress between China and the US.


The Iseq all-share index rose 1.55 per cent boosted by heavyweights CRH and Ryanair.


Budget airline Ryanair was the top gainer on the smaller Iseq 20 index, rising 3.91 per cent to €9.08, in line with its European airline peers. The stock has recently been weak and rose as the price of oil dipped slightly.

It was a less fortunate day for the other Irish listed transport stock, Irish Continental Group. The Irish Ferries-owner slipped 5.48 per cent to €3.71 on the back of a cautious outlook with sterling weakening against the euro.

For CRH it was a positive day despite no stock-specific news. A strong economic growth figure from the US, to which it is exposed, drove the stock 3.18 per cent higher to €30.16.

In other results driven news, Total Produce rose 0.8 per cent to €1.26 despite saying its trading environment in Europe was challenging.


The main index added 1 per cent, as internationally exposed companies such as HSBC and AstraZeneca rose and offset a 32 per cent plunge in Micro Focus after the IT group warned on its full-year revenue.

The FTSE 250 mid-cap index ended up 0.4 per cent, with gains capped due to a more than 50 per cent drop in consumer credit provider Amigo Holdings following an annual forecast cut.

Technology company Smiths Group was the biggest riser among blue chips after Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the stock.

Mid-cap Tullow Oil fell 5.1per cent after the oil and gas explorer said its plan to sell another stake in a Uganda project has been called off due to a tax dispute with the Ugandan authorities.


The pan-European benchmark index Stoxx 600 closed 1 per cent higher with commodity-linked shares rising nearly 2 per cent to lead gains.

French conglomerate Bouygues jumped 7 per cent, topping the Stoxx 600 after reporting a better-than-expected first-half core operating profit.

Italian stocks rose nearly 2 per cent to hit their highest level since August 2nd as president Sergio Mattarella gave a green light to two former political enemies, the Five Star Movement and Democratic Party (PD), to form a new coalition government headed by Giuseppe Conte as prime minister.


US stocks rallied more than 1 per cent, buoyed by gains in the trade-sensitive technology and industrial sectors as China expressed hope on trade negotiations with the US.

China’s commerce ministry said both sides are discussing the next round of talks scheduled for September, but progress would be determined by whether Washington could create favourable conditions. US president Donald Trump told Fox News that trade talks were scheduled for yesterday “at a different level,” but did not provide details.

Heavyweight tech stocks with tariff exposure, such as Apple, up 1.69 per cent, and Microsoft, up 1.89 per cent, boosted the technology sector by 1.73 per cent for its best day since August 16th.

The Dow rose 326.15 points, or 1.25 per cent, to 26,362.25, the S&P 500 gained 36.63 points, or 1.27 per cent, to 2,924.57 and the Nasdaq added 116.51 points, or 1.48 per cent, to 7,973.39. – Additional reporting: Reuters

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

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