Election surprise sends shares to biggest surge of the year
European shares posted this year's biggest advance, buoyed by a surprise election win for British Prime Minister David Cameron's party and improving US jobs data.
By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 2.29pc or 139.36 points to end the trading day at 6,229.62. It was the highest increase since the second week of March.
The leaders on the Dublin market included packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, which increased 3.6pc to €27.87, while building materials firm CRH rose 4.2pc to €26. On the other side of the board, the few laggards included insurance group FBD, which closed down 1pc to €9.75, while fruit company Fyffes fell 0.8pc to €1.22.
Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index surged 2.9pc to 400.16 at the close of trading, up 1.4pc for the week.
The gauge extended gains after data showed the US unemployment rate fell to a six-year low in April, while payrolls climbed 223,000, a faster pace than in March.
The UK's FTSE 100 Index rebounded 2.3pc from a one-month low after the Conservatives reached the 326-seat threshold necessary to end a coalition with the Liberal Democrats and govern alone. All but two stocks rose.
"A Conservative victory wasn't priced in," said Jasper Lawler, a market analyst at CMC Markets in London.
"It's a positive shock. That's why we're seeing the extent of the move in prices. Markets don't like uncertainty, and there would've been uncertainty with a hung parliament." German and Swiss stocks were among the best performers in western-European markets.
The DAX Index climbed 2.7pc, completing its best week in a month, while the Swiss Market Index added 2.5pc, ending a three-day decline.
The volume of shares changing hands in Stoxx 600 companies was 36pc higher than the 30-day average.