Thursday 15 November 2018

Oil stocks and earnings lift Europe's bourses

European shares were broadly supported yesterday by strength in oil stocks after US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of Iran's nuclear agreement, boosting crude prices. (stock picture)
European shares were broadly supported yesterday by strength in oil stocks after US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of Iran's nuclear agreement, boosting crude prices. (stock picture)

European shares were broadly supported yesterday by strength in oil stocks after US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of Iran's nuclear agreement, boosting crude prices.

While some well-received earnings updates also provided support, shares in companies with exposure to Iran fell, with plane maker Airbus falling more than 1pc and car makers Renault and PSA also among those hit.

The oil and gas index was the biggest sectoral gainer, up 1.5pc at a three-year high as crude rallied after Mr Trump's move on Iran raised the risk of conflict in the Middle East and cast uncertainty over global supplies.

"Whilst other signatories remain onboard, Trump's decision potentially turns the geopolitical instability dial up a notch, especially in the Middle East," said Accendo Markets analysts.

In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index nudged almost 0.3pc ahead close to the end of the session, at 6,968.48.

Bank of Ireland advanced 2.1pc to €7.46, while AIB was up 1.7pc at €5.01.

Shares in Ryanair fell 2.2pc, and ferry operator Irish Continental declined 1.2pc as the prospect of higher fuel costs weighed on the transport sector.

In the UK, shares in builders merchanting group Grafton were 2.6pc lower at £7.78 near the close after it released a trading statement to coincide with its annual general meeting. It said competitive pressures remain in the UK market.

The UK's FTSE-100 was 1.1pc higher, while France's CAC-40 was flat. Germany's DAX edged 0.1pc higher.

Higher oil prices weighed on travel stocks such as airlines, whose sector index was also hit by a 1.6pc drop in Europe's largest travel and tourism group, TUI , as its earnings update failed to inspire.

Elsewhere, Siemens rose 4.3pc after the German industrial giant raised its full-year profit guidance, offsetting worries over exposure to Iran.

Analysts at Jefferies reiterated their buy rating on the stock, saying the quarterly performance of Siemens was strong apart from the results of its power and gas business.

"This was a very mixed picture from Siemens with PG taking the shine off what were actually very good results... with the core automation businesses doing especially well," they wrote.

Equities in Europe have recently outperformed Wall Street, supported by a weakening euro against a surging dollar.

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