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Shares rally on ISE to end three-day losing streak

IRISH shares rallied yesterday, snapping a three-day loss, as broad based buying in Dublin meant the market posted its biggest one-day gain in five weeks.

By the close of trading the ISEQ Overall Index had gained 2.26pc, or 66.06 points, to close at 2,992.59. That gain meant the index finished the week only marginally down, having opened on Tuesday at 3,005.17.

Construction giant CRH rebounded from losses earlier in the week to gain 3.48pc, as traders went back into a stock some viewed as undervalued. Payrolls in the US increased by 244,000 workers last month, the biggest gain since May 2010, after a revised 221,000 gain the prior month, it was revealed.

Low-cost airline Ryanair added 4.13pc to €3.60. The airline is set to earn €1.14bn on the back of a "cancellation levy" it has begun charging passengers in the wake of the Icelandic volcano eruption which shut down European airspace last year.

The banks all had a strong day, with Bank of Ireland (up 6.03pc) the second best performing stock on the day. Allied Irish Banks (up 2.83pc) and Irish Life & Permanent (up 4.48pc) also performed well.

Few stocks lost ground, but Smurfit Kappa slumped 4.29pc to €8.32 after the packaging giant posted a lower than expected jump in first quarter core profits.

Oil companies fell as the price of oil continued to weaken. Petroneft (down 2.82pc), Providence Resources (down 4.69pc) and Petroceltic (down 6.02pc) all fell sharply.

Around the continent, national benchmark indexes rallied in 15 of the 18 western European markets. Germany's DAX climbed 1.6pc and France's CAC 40 gained 1.3pc, while the UK's FTSE 100 advanced 1pc.

The euro weakened against the dollar after a report by German news magazine 'Der Spiegel' -- later denied by Greek and German authorities -- said Greece planned to pull out of the euro.

The US jobs data "has been enough to encourage investors to pick up some of the more badly beaten stocks," said Joshua Raymond, a market strategist at City Index in London. "Two sectors which have been hit hard this week, the banks and the miners, have both seen buyers return today."

RBS climbed 5.6pc. The UK's biggest government-owned lender said earnings from its British retail and corporate banking division more than doubled in the first quarter.

Airlines also advanced after International Consolidated Airlines Group, formed from the merger of British Airways and Iberia, posted a profit in its first quarter of operations. The stock climbed 3.3pc.

Irish Independent