IRISH shares rose yesterday as good results from two of the biggest companies on the Dublin market boosted trading.
By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index had added 0.65pc, or 24.02 points, to end the day at 3,732.79.
Yesterday's gain pushed the market to a four-year high, and kept it above the 3,700 mark for a second day.
Unusually, the market had to rely on a couple of its bluechip stocks to ensure it ended the day on the up. Despite the overall gain, more than twice as many stocks fell as rose on a day when European markets were pummelled.
In percentage terms the big mover was Permanent TSB, which added 10.8pc. The lender said it had raised a little more than €3bn over the last few months, but was only announcing it now.
Kerry Group gained 2.94pc to close at €42.40 – its highest ever share price. The company reported annual results that beat expectations and said it expected to post between 7pc and 11pc earnings growth in 2013.
CRH, the biggest company on the Dublin market, added 2.84pc to hit €16.68. The building materials giant posted strong annual results, while company chief executive Myles Lee said he would retire.
Dragon Oil added 3.88pc to close at €7.06.
Ryanair rose 0.2pc to €5.66 a day before the European Commission plan to reveal whether it will allow the budget carrier's bid for Aer Lingus. Ryanair has already said the commission turned down its bid.
Elsewhere, European stocks declined as Italy's inconclusive parliamentary election renewed concern that the nation will dilute its austerity programme.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.3pc, while national benchmark indices dropped in all 18 western European markets, except Ireland and Denmark. Germany's DAX retreated 2.3pc, France's CAC 40 fell 2.7pc, and the UK's FTSE 100 slipped 1.3pc.
"Italy is almost ungovernable and sometimes we get a wake- up call about that," said Roberto Magnatantini, at Banque SYZ in Geneva. "I'm really not that optimistic about the ability of Italian politics to reinvent itself and Italians are deeply fed up and disillusioned."
Telecom Italia plunged 7.3pc, the lowest price since August 1997. SEB dropped 3.5pc after reporting full-year net income that missed market estimates.
"We are approaching 2013 cautiously," the maker of Tefal fryers said in a statement.
BASF lost 4.5pc, the sharpest decrease since April. Earnings before interest, tax and one-time items increased 18pc but missed forecasts. In London, HSBC dropped 2.3pc, its biggest sell-off since July 2012. Barclays, the UK's second-biggest bank, sank 4.7pc, while Royal Bank of Scotland slid 4.3pc.