Monday 21 October 2019

Germany leads gains as US talks loom

German shares led gains in Europe yesterday as robust earnings from Siemens and Wirecard overshadowed mounting worries over a US-China trade deal. Stock photo
German shares led gains in Europe yesterday as robust earnings from Siemens and Wirecard overshadowed mounting worries over a US-China trade deal. Stock photo

German shares led gains in Europe yesterday as robust earnings from Siemens and Wirecard overshadowed mounting worries over a US-China trade deal.

Chinese vice premier Liu He will travel to Washington for two days of trade talks, in a bid to avoid a sharp increase in tariffs on Chinese goods that US president Donald Trump had threatened to impose over the weekend.

"The fact that Chinese vice premier Liu He is still expected to arrive in Washington to keep the talks going is probably the reason why this has not turned into an absolute meltdown," said Elwin de Groot, head of macro strategy at Rabobank.

The biggest boost to the pan-region Stoxx 600 yesterday was Siemens, which climbed as much as 5pc in early trading after reporting better-than-expected profit from its industrial business in the second quarter, as the German industrial group began separating and spinning off its struggling power and gas business. By late afternoon, Siemens's shares were 3.7pc higher.

German reinsurer Munich Re slid after reporting a 23pc decline in net profit in the first quarter as a result of higher claims, and weighed down insurers broadly.

In Ireland, the Iseq Overall Index was down 0.6pc at 6,349 soon before the close.

Decliners included Ryanair, which had shed 2.3pc to €11.01 before the end of the session.

Davy Stockbrokers said that outbound travel demand from the UK probably declined for this summer due to Brexit turmoil.

Bank of Ireland was down 2.8pc at €5.46, while shares in Bulmers-maker C&C jumped 2.5pc to €3.47. US-based Brandes Investment Partners has continued to cut its stake in the Irish company.

Other movers included miner Kenmare Resources, whose shares were 2.7pc higher late in the session, at €2.26.

The UK's Ftse-100 was barely ahead as the end of trading approached, while France's CAC-40 was up almost 0.3pc.

German industrial output unexpectedly increased in March.

However, the economy ministry warned the outlook remained subdued as Europe's biggest economy suffered from trade frictions and Brexit nerves.

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