IRISH shares enjoyed their biggest gain in three weeks yesterday as stocks in Europe climbed to their highest level in almost two years.
By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index gained 1.46pc, or 50.9, points to end the day at 3,529.90, buoyed by gains from big players such as Ryanair and building materials giant CRH.
The index enjoyed a positive day after opening, dipping and running flat for a time early afternoon before increasing again.
It comes on the back of a mixed few days of both gains and losses for the index.
Among the movers were CRH which increased 4.69pc to close at €15.86, while Ryanair jumped 3.08pc to end at €5.42.
Aer Lingus also enjoyed a gain with its share price increasing 2.11pc to €1.26, while recruitment firm CPL Resources jumped 3.08pc to finish up at €4.35.
On the other side of the board, the laggards included shipping giant Irish Continental, which fell 1.73pc to end at €19.90, and building materials company Kingspan Group which dropped 1.03pc to €8.73.
Food ingredients company Kerry Group also suffered a decline, with its share price falling 1pc to end the day at €37.70. Drugs firm Elan slipped back 1.09pc to finish the trading day at €7.45.
European stocks climbed to their highest level since February 2011 as jobless claims in the US fell to a five-year low and the House of Representatives voted to temporarily suspend the federal government's borrowing limit.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.2pc to 288.89 at the close of trading, after earlier sliding as much as 0.4pc.
National benchmark indexes advanced in 14 of the 18 western-European markets.
The UK's FTSE 100 gained 1.1pc, while France's CAC 40 added 0.7pc. Germany's DAX rose 0.5pc.
"The US markets gave the fuel for the ongoing up move in Europe,"said Andreas Lipkow, a senior market strategist at Kliegel & Hafner AG in Berlin.
"Better- than-estimated jobless claims numbers terminated the worries about Apple figures. It's hard right now not to be in the market, so most investors try to pick every single pullback in the stock markets."
EasyJet rallied 5.1pc to a record price after saying fiscal first-quarter sales gained.
Vodafone added 3.2pc as Greenlight Capital said it had increased its stake in the company.
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena plunged 8.2pc after the Bank of Italy said that the world's oldest lender hid documents from its regulators.