Gains across the board help to end market's losing streak
IRISH stocks climbed for the first time in six sessions as Elan advanced ahead of today's results, while Allied Irish gained after good news from a US unit and rumours that it has hired management consultants to examine a possible merger of its investment management, private banking and pension businesses.
The ISEQ closed up 53.77 points, or 1.9pc, at 2,873.11 points after Elan jumped 4.4pc to €3.88. Allied Irish closed up 2.8pc at 88c after US bank M&T's profits grew 269pc year-on-year in the second quarter. The results are likely to make it easier for Allied Irish to sell its stake in M&T. Sentiment was also helped by rumours that it hired Boston-based Bain & Co to advise on integrating units, which may possibly herald a cost-cutting exercise at the bank.
The country's airlines also did well with Ryanair extending the previous day's gains following better-than-expected results, adding 3pc to €3.95, while Aer Lingus rose 2.8pc to 88c.
Elsewhere, shares were buoyed by better-than-expected results from Apple and Fiat along with Reckitt Benckiser's plan to buy condom-maker SSL International. National benchmarks climbed in 15 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 gained 1.4pc, France's CAC 40 increased 0.8pc and Germany's DAX rose 0.4pc.
SSL, which makes Durex condoms and Scholl shoes, jumped 34pc after Reckitt Benckiser offered to buy the company. Reckitt, a British healthcare company which makes clearasil acne cream and strepsils cough drops, advanced 3.5pc.
Fiat rose more than 6pc after the Italian carmaker's trading earnings topped analysts' forecasts. Accor soared 5.4pc after sales at Europe's largest hotel company beat estimates.
"We've got a war of attrition going on between the non- believers who are focused on economic data, and others who say if companies are doing well I want to be a part of it," David Buik, a London-based market strategist at BGC Partners said yesterday.
BP climbed 3.2pc amid rumours it was to change chief executive soon as it continues to battle a record oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The company greed to sell assets in North America and Egypt to Apache for $7bn (€5.49bn) as part of its plan to raise cash to fund liabilities.
In the US shares fell in early trading as Yahoo! led a slump in technology and media companies after sales trailed analysts' estimates and US President Barack Obama signed into law the most comprehensive financial regulatory overhaul of banks since the Great Depression and vowed there will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts for Wall Street.
President Obama said the legislation's provisions make clear that no firm is protected because it is deemed "too big to fail" like AIG during the financial meltdown.
The American Bankers Association expressed disappointment with the legislation.