CRH surge helps shares bounce back
IRISH shares continued to bounce back from losses earlier in the week, as speculation mounted that European leaders may be moving closer to a resolution in the debt crisis.
By the close of trading, the ISEQ Overall Index had added 2.79pc, or 69.12 points, to close at 2,549.91.
The index surged early, in line with bourses across the continent, with traders buoyed by suggestions that the European Commission was proposing action to recapitalise Europe's banks.
The big winner yesterday was CRH. The construction giant jumped 6.65pc, or 80 points, to close at €12.75.
A gain of that size for CRH essentially guaranteed the index would finish in positive territory but it was supported by a broad-based buying spree.
IFG added 8.33pc to close at €1.30 while United Drug climbed 7.46pc to finish at €2.45. Glanbia rose 1.59pc to €4.47 while Kerry Group added 1.73pc to reach €25.84.
There were some laggards on the day, with Aminex the big loser in percentage terms. The resources company fell by a third after it suspended drilling at a major exploration well in offshore Tanzania.
Elsewhere, European stocks rose for a second day amid speculation policy makers would reach agreement to contain the sovereign-debt crisis and as the Bank of England expanded its bond-purchase programme.
National benchmark indices rose in every western European market except Denmark. France's CAC 40 Index advanced 3.4pc and the UK's FTSE 100 Index rose 3.7pc. Germany's DAX Index added 3.2pc while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 2.7pc.
"The market optimism may be explained by new initiatives that have emerged as part of efforts to quell both the sovereign debt and the banking crises," said Stephane Ekolo, chief European strategist at Market Securities in London.
"The bond-purchase announcement was a good move by the Bank of England as the economy still faces downside risks stemming from the sovereign-debt crisis."
In the US, a report showed that claims for unemployment benefits rose less than forecast last week.
In Paris, Credit Agricole climbed 5.3pc, while BNP surged 8.6pc. Shares of Natixis surged 9pc.
A gauge of commodity companies jumped 5.5pc for the best performance among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600. BHP rallied 5.9pc. Rio Tinto Group, the world's second-largest mining company, increased 7.6pc. Copper, lead, nickel and tin rose in London.
SABMiller, the maker of Peroni and Grolsch beer, soared 7pc for its biggest gain since November 2008. Reports in Brazil suggested AB InBev, the world's largest brewer, has held talks to acquire the company for about $80bn (€60bn).