IRISH shares rose sharply yesterday as traders kept up their recent buying spree on their return from the Christmas break.
On the first day's trading since Christmas Eve, the ISEQ Overall Index gained 1.33pc, or 59.29 points, to close at 4,533.58.
While the market had posted small losses on Monday and Tuesday, the index is up more than 3pc since December 6, as renewed hopes for an economic recovery boost sentiment.
On a day of light volume -- barely 16 million shares changed hands -- three times as many stocks rose as fell.
The winner among major stocks was Kingspan. The insulation firm rose 4.1pc to close at €13.
Construction giant CRH added 3.1pc to close at €18.51. The firm is expected to benefit from higher economic growth and the greater number of construction projects that should come with a recovery.
Paddy Power gained 1.9pc to finish at €61.67.
On the other side of the market, Donegal Investments was one of only six firms to end the day in negative territory. The company slid 3.2pc to €6.10.
Elsewhere, European stocks rose, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index posting the longest winning streak in two months, after US jobless claims dropped more than forecast and markets reopened following the Christmas holiday.
National benchmark indices advanced in all 18 western- European markets. France's CAC 40 gained 1.4pc, Germany's DAX added 0.9pc and the UK's FTSE 100 rose 0.8pc. The Stoxx 600 rose 1pc.
Vestas Wind Systems climbed 1.8pc. The world's biggest wind-turbine maker said on Christmas Eve that it won a 110-megawatt order from an undisclosed customer in the US.
A gauge of European health-care companies was among the biggest gainers of the 19 industry groups on the benchmark index. Roche, the world's largest maker of cancer drugs, rose 1.8pc and Essilor International added 2.3pc.
FLSmidth gained 3.6pc as the Danish mining equipment maker said it received an order worth €73m to supply a cement production line in Qatar.