US stocks rise on trade war truce hopes

Sains­bury’s shakes off neg­a­tive trad­ing up­date and Ted Baker stages UK re­cov­ery Build­ing ma­te­ri­als group CRH and Bank of Ire­land Iseq’s best per­form­ers

The Irish Times - Business - - MARKETS - LAURA SLAT­TERY

Eu­ro­pean eq­ui­ties rose af­ter a broad global rally spurred by hopes of an end to the trade dis­pute be­tween the US and China.

Mar­kets in Asia also ad­vanced af­ter talks in Bei­jing with US of­fi­cials con­cluded ear­lier yes­ter­day with the world’s two largest economies seek­ing a truce in their long-stand­ing row.

DUBLIN

The Iseq in­dex fin­ished al­most 1 per cent higher, adding to Tues­day’s 0.5 per cent gain, as the ma­jor­ity of its main stocks climbed. Build­ing ma­te­ri­als group CRH added 2.3 per cent to close at €24.45, while Bank of Ire­land was 2.7 per cent higher at €5.00.

Cairn Homes closed up 1 per cent at €1.21, while food group

Glan­bia was 2.8 per cent higher at €17.06. Pa­per and pack­ag­ing group Smur­fit Kappa ad­vanced 1.9 per cent to €25.04, and drinks com­pany C&C nudged up 1.2 per cent to €2.94.

How­ever, Ryanair dropped 1.2 per cent to €10.48, while the real es­tate in­vest­ment trust stocks Green Reit and Hiber­nia Reit both ended in the red.

LON­DON

The FTSE 100 ended 0.7 per cent higher, af­ter hit­ting its high­est level since De­cem­ber 5th, while the mid-cap in­dex ral­lied 1.3 per cent also to lev­els not seen since early last month.

The Lon­don mar­ket was buoyed by the more op­ti­mistic feel­ing on global trade ten­sions as well as a pos­i­tive trad­ing up­date from house­builder Tay­lor Wim­pey, which off­set the on­go­ing un­cer­tainty over Brexit and fig­ures show­ing a slow­ing of UK pro­duc­tiv­ity growth.

House­builders led the gains af­ter Tay­lor Wim­pey main­tained its 2018 re­sults fore­cast and pre­dicted solid 2019 sales. Its shares ad­vanced 6.2 per cent, tak­ing peers Berke­ley, Per­sim­mon and Bar­ratt up with them. Su­per­mar­ket chain Sains­bury’s re­couped ini­tial losses to close 2.3 per cent higher af­ter its chief ex­ec­u­tive re­it­er­ated his con­fi­dence that its Asda takeover deal will be cleared. It had ear­lier slipped al­most 3 per cent on a dis­ap­point­ing Christ­mas quar­ter up­date. Voda­fone was the biggest drag on the FTSE 100 with a near 2 per cent fall as in­vestors chose more cycli­cal sec­tors. Among mid-caps, fash­ion re­tailer Ted Baker stole the show with a 31.2 per cent surge on ro­bust hol­i­day pe­riod sales and an HSBC up­grade that helped it bag its biggest in­tra­day gain since float­ing in 1997 and re­cover losses since it an­nounced an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­leged con­duct by chief ex­ec­u­tive Ray Kelvin.

IT in­fra­struc­ture and ser­vice provider Soft­cat jumped 17.8 per cent af­ter an un­sched­uled trad­ing up­date to its best day on record.

EUROPE

The Stoxx Europe 600 in­dex climbed 0.5 per cent to the high­est in a month led by car­mak­ers and min­ing stocks. Ger­many’s Dax and France’s Cac 40 in­dex both rose more than 0.8 per cent.

Daim­ler, BMW and Volk­swa­gen were all boosted af­ter progress in trade talks be­tween China and the US. Volk­swa­gen, fin­ished up 2.4 per cent.

US

Wall Street ral­lied for a fourth ses­sion yes­ter­day pro­pelled by Ap­ple, chip­mak­ers and other trade-sen­si­tive stocks af­ter signs of progress in trade talks be­tween the United States and China. Mar­ket par­tic­i­pants were also en­cour­aged by strong U.S. jobs data and re­cent in­di­ca­tions the US Fed­eral Re­serve is in no rush to raise in­ter­est rates.

The S&P tech­nol­ogy in­dex rose 1.50 per cent, with Ap­ple

up 1.70 per cent de­spite a Nikkei re­port that the com­pany had re­duced planned pro­duc­tion for its three new iPhone mod­els.

Chip­mak­ers are among the U.S. multi­na­tion­als with the high­est rev­enue ex­po­sure to China.

Shares in Boe­ing, which also has a large ex­po­sure to China, climbed 0.97 per­cent, The Dow Jones rose 0.39 per­cent to fin­ish at 23,879.12 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.41 per cent to 2,584.96. The Nas­daq Com­pos­ite added 0.87 per cent to 6,957.08.

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