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European markets respond positively to EU deal

IRISH shares rose yesterday, as news of a deal from the EU summit in Brussels meant trading finished on a reasonably positive note.

By the close, the ISEQ Overall Index had risen 0.79pc, or 21.5 points, to close at 2,742.45.

The index fell at the opening bell but recovered as the details of the agreement became clear and began to surge by mid-morning.

There were few huge gains on the day, but the speciality baker Aryzta had a strong session, closing up 3.21pc at €35.40 while Kerry Group added 1.57 to reach €28.10. Greencore climbed 1.59pc to 64c.

It was not all sweetness and light for the food sector, however, Glanbia was down at €4.37.

C&C group slumped 4.07pc to €2.83 while bookmaker Paddy Power slid 2.5pc to €40.60.

Away from Ireland, European stocks advanced, paring a weekly decline, after the euro-area leaders agreed on a fiscal union and a report said China's central bank was to set up $300bn (€224bn) of funds to invest overseas.


National benchmark indices climbed in 15 of 18 western European markets. France's CAC 40 rose 2.5pc, the UK's FTSE 100 advanced 0.8pc and Germany's DAX Index increased 1.9pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 climbed 1.2pc.

Referring to the EU deal, Raimund Saxinger of Frankfurt Trust Investment said: "One thing which is positive is that there's an agreement on having balanced government budgets and on what to do with countries that don't have balanced budgets."

Stocks maintained gains after a report showed confidence among US consumers rose more than forecast in December to a six-month high.

Meanwhile, a Reuters report said China would create a new investment vehicle to improve returns on its foreign-exchange reserves.

The vehicle will operate one fund targeting the US and another focused on Europe.

Banks recovered from earlier losses. Barclays rallied 5.4pc in London, gaining for the first time in four days. Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo rose 7.9pc in Milan and Deutsche Bank increased 4.7pc in Frankfurt.

Daimler jumped 4.1pc, rebounding from three days of declines. The world's third-largest maker of luxury vehicles said its Mercedes-Benz car factories were operating at "near full capacity".

Mercedes will increase capacity by spending about €2bn on its Chinese joint venture. Carmakers were the best-performing group in the Stoxx 600, with a gain of 2.6pc.

Irish Independent