ISEQ winners beat losers by more than two to one
IRISH shares enjoyed another good day amid optimism that the European leaders are preparing decisive action to help the euro.
The biggest gainer on the local exchange was Petroceltic following better-than-expected news from the company's Algerian gas fields.
The benchmark ISEQ jumped 27.89 points, or 1pc, to 2,934.23 points -- the highest level seen since August -- as investors speculated that the European Union will increase its efforts to contain the region's debt crisis.
The 1pc advance was smaller than gains seen in most other European exchanges.
France's CAC 40 added 2.2pc and Germany's DAX gained 1.8pc, while the UK's FTSE 100 rose 0.6pc. Greece's ASE and Spain's IBEX 35 were the best performers, increasing 5pc and 5.4pc, respectively. The IBEX rose the most in eight months.
In Dublin, gainers outnumbered losers by more than two to one. Shares in Petroceltic surged 13pc to 18c after the oil and gas explorer said an appraisal well in south-eastern Algeria encountered a 155-metre gross gas column.
The news led Davy Stockbrokers to hike its share price target. The broker already rates Petroceltic as one its top picks for 2011.
Shares in Bank of Ireland enjoyed another good day, rising 7.5pc to 36c following the disposal of Bank of Ireland Asset Management. Food company Origin jumped 3.2pc to €3.50 as NCB Stockbrokers raised its price target by 9pc to €3.80.
In London, fund manager Gartmore, which has been one of the best stock pickers on the Irish market for more than a decade, said it had agreed to be taken over by Anglo-Australian rival Henderson. Shares in Gartmore soared 14pc while Henderson rallied 9.3pc, the biggest gain in 18 months.
Shares elsewhere in Europe advanced for a second day, extending a 28-month high, as news leaked out about plans to contain the region's debt crisis.
Bank shares were the best performers of 19 industry groups as Portugal completed its sale of new debt. Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit, Portugal's biggest lender by sales, advanced 10pc and 9.7pc respectively. Spain's Banco Santander gained 9.6pc while Greece's Alpha Bank rose 7.1pc.
Sky Deutschland soared 31pc, its largest jump in more than two years. Sky Deutschland also predicted that 2011 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation will be "significantly better than 2010, but will remain negative."
Defence manufacturer EADS gained 2.1pc as Airbus won the biggest order in commercial aviation history, worth $15bn.