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Shares surge after OPEC quells oil supply concerns

IRISH shares surged back yesterday, after concerns about high oil prices were eased slightly, while strong sentiment from Thursday's deposit transfers lifted markets.

By the close, the ISEQ Overall Index was at 2,943.35, an increase of 1.47pc, or 42.57 points. Despite the strong day's trading, the index still posted a weekly loss, having opened at 3,005.39 on Monday.

A carryover in sentiment from Allied Irish Banks' (AIB's) purchase of part of Anglo Irish Bank's deposits on Thursday ensured AIB had another strong day.

Davy Stockbrokers said the bank may gain up to €1.6bn from the deposits. With reports like that, it was no surprise the stock rose 4.42pc to 26c.

Irish Life and Permanent did the best of the lenders, adding 9.66pc to touch 97c a day after taking over Irish Nationwide's loan book.

While not involved in the deposit transfers, Bank of Ireland benefited from the renewed confidence in the financials, rising 7.27pc to 37c.

Away from the banks, stocks reacted positively to reassurances from OPEC that any loss of supply from the Libyan crisis would be made up.

CRH rose 2.75pc to €16.44. Aer Lingus and Ryanair recovered some earlier losses on the hope fuel prices may not rise as much as expected. The former state carrier rose 2.72pc to 95c, while Ryanair added 0.92pc.

Smurfit Kappa Group gained 2.17pc after a positive report from Citibank.

The top four laggards on the index were all commodity related, hit by the apparent stabilisation in prices.

Oil and gas companies Providence and Aminex lost 6.58pc and 4.55pc respectively. Miner Kenmare Resources dropped 3.19pc to 46c.

Elsewhere, national benchmark indexes climbed in 16 of the 18 western European markets. France's CAC 40 Index rallied 1.5pc, while the UK's FTSE 100 Index rose 1.4pc and Germany's DAX Index advanced 0.8pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 1.3pc.

"Equities are still looking attractive against fixed-income assets," said Andy Lynch, of Schroder Investment Management in London. "There's been a stabilisation in the global economy."

  • Trading was curtailed in London for four hours after a computer glitch left dealers unable to carry out any business on the exchange until around 12.15pc. The glitch meant that volume on the London market was down about a third compared to a normal Friday.

Volkswagen surged 6.2pc as Europe's biggest automaker said profit surged sevenfold last year and forecast growth would accelerate this year.

Saint-Gobain climbed 5.5pc after its chief executive said net income at the supplier of building materials would "significantly" increase in 2011.

Irish Independent