Stress-test results a boost for banks
IRISH shares advanced as European Union stress-test results showed the country's two largest banks are adequately capitalised and the Government said it would spend €39bn on infrastructure over the next few years.
Allied Irish was among the best performing banks across Europe, closing up 5.6pc at 95c with almost as many shares swapping hands as changed hands during the whole of last week. Bank of Ireland advanced 4.9pc to 78c as investors reacted to the news that was released late on Friday.
CRH, which accounts for a third of the ISEQ's weighting, advanced 1.7pc to 16.48 following comforting news from the Government about its infrastructure spending plans and good news on home sales from the US where CRH makes half its profits.
The benchmark ISEQ closed up 29.17 points, or 1pc, at 2947.25 points in Dublin yesterday, one of 16 benchmark indices to advance in western Europe yesterday. The UK's FTSE 100 increased 0.7pc and France's CAC 40 gained 0.8pc Germany's DAX added 0.5pc.
Tullow, which has a dual listing on the Dublin and London stock exchanges, jumped 4.5pc to €14.76 after the company said it had discovered a "major" oil field off the coast of Ghana.
UTV was another gainer, surging 4.9pc to €1.49 after the 'Daily Telegraph' reported that the Guardian Media Group rejected a preliminary approach for its radio unit.
Another share to move was Prime Active Capital, which fell 10pc to 17c as London-based firm Media Square holds a crucial vote today on a £26.6m refinancing deal. Prime Active Capital has a 28.5pc share in Media Square.
Across the Irish Sea, educational publisher Pearson climbed 5.9pc after raising its outlook for 2010 after first-half profit more than tripled on growth in its education business and publisher Penguin.
BP gained 4.6pc on hopes Robert Dudley will be named chief executive.
Pharmaceutical giant Glaxo slid 1.1pc, leading a gauge of health-care stocks to the biggest drop among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600.
Connaught fell 70pc after the biggest UK public-housing maintenance company said it requires "urgent" funding.
In Europe, the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.5pc, the highest level since June 22 as investors buy into the European recovery story. The gauge has still retreated 5.5pc from this year's high on April 15 on concern that growth will stall.
"Economic data itself has continued to improve," said Gary Baker, the head of BofA, Merrill Lynch's pan-European equity strategy. "The real economy has been relatively good. Valuations are very supportive and continue to look favourable" for equities, he said.