Saturday 21 April 2018

European shares have best two days since 2011 on Greek hopes

Greece's offer to meet the majority of its creditors demands was met with a rise in European stocks
Greece's offer to meet the majority of its creditors demands was met with a rise in European stocks

Donal O'Donovan / agencies

European stocks extended a rally after Greece's offer to meet most creditor demands stoked betting a deal is close to being agreed.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 2pc to 388.8 at the close of trading, taking its two-day gain to 4.3pc. In Dublin the Iseq index also closed well up, rising 1.6pc to 6,264 and heading into the weekend in positive territory.

Markets extended gains intraday after a European Union official said the region's leaders needn't hold a summit on Sunday if the so-called Eurogroup of finance chiefs reach an agreement earlier. Indices in Spain, Italy and France, surged 3pc or more.

Greece sought €53.5bn in aid, submitting to European institutions a proposal that almost mirrored one by creditors on June 26. Greek voters had rejected that plan in a referendum last weekend, sending stocks tumbling. The Greek stock exchange will remain shut through to July 13.

Back-and-forth talks between Greece and its creditors have choked gains on the Stoxx 600. The gauge slid almost 10pc since its April record.

In Dublin, Aer Lingus closed up more than 2pc at €2.4703 a share after its biggest shareholder, Ryanair, said it would accept IAG's €2.50 a share takeover bid, clearing the way for a likely sale.

At €12.41 each Ryanair shares were up 1.89pc.

Petroceltic, up 8.86c to € 1.29, and Smurfit Kappa up 4.66pc to €26.19 also saw strong gains.

In Europe, banks contributed most to gains in the Stoxx 600, with Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA and BNP Paribas adding at least 4pct. DNB ASA jumped 4.6pc after Norway's biggest lender reported profit that beat analyst estimates. Bank of Ireland closed up more than 3pc to 37.09 cents each. Shares in Permanent TSB rose almost 5pc to €4.88 each.

Elsewhere, InterContinental Hotels rose 3.1pc after agreeing a $938m sale of its Hong Kong hotel.

Irish Independent

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