British factory growth boosts ISEQ
IRISH shares inched upwards yesterday as a report on British manufacturing helped to further ease concern that the economic recovery is faltering.
US markets were closed because of a public holiday.
The benchmark ISEQ Overall index closed up 7.21 points, or 0.3pc, at 2,807.11 as Irish Life & Permanent, Allied Irish Banks (AIB) and banana importer Fyffes all posted gains.
Irish Life extended recent gains, advancing 4.4pc to €1.80 on renewed hopes it will emerge from the financial crisis with the Government taking a stake in the lender.
AIB closed up 1.5pc at 80.7c on rumours that a Polish bank bidding for the lender's stake in Bank Zachodni is preparing to raise its bid.
Fyffes added 1.5pc to end the session at 34.5c as the market continues to digest news from the company and spin-offs Blackrock International Land and Total Produce. Blackrock said yesterday it would change its name to Balmoral International Land after a trademark dispute with BlackRock Inc, the US-based international asset management company.
Elsewhere in Europe, shares also crept up with energy companies rallying after German Chancellor Angela Merkel proposed extending the life of nuclear power plants owned by Germany's largest utilities.
The Stoxx 600 rose 0.1pc to 260.76 in London as two stocks gained for each one that declined.
The Engineering Employers Federation data showed British factory production grew at a record pace in the third quarter on surging export demand.
National benchmark indexes advanced in all of the 18 western European markets, except Denmark. France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX rose 0.3pc, while the UK's FTSE 100 increased 0.2pc.
"I've got wind in my sails coming from earnings and the growth that I can see globally. There are some very good arguments for investing in equities," said Mark Tinker, global equity-portfolio manager in London for Axa Framlington.
German power utilities E.ON climbed 1.9pc and RWE gained 1.9pc after political leaders in Berlin agreed to let seven older reactors built before 1980 run eight years longer, while 10 younger plants would be allowed to run for another 14 years.
BP climbed 1.3pc after the 'Sunday Times' said the energy company had increased its target for asset sales to $40bn (€23.3bn) from $30bn to cover the cost of cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. France-based BioMerieux advanced 3.2pc after the maker of tests for HIV and hepatitis said first-half net income rose 14pc to €72m.
EasyJet gained 1.3pc as the airline said its August passenger numbers rose to 5.2 million and the proportion of seats filled increased by half a percentage point to 92.3pc.