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Greece gives market new confidence

IRISH shares rose yesterday, as Greece seemed to move a step closer to avoiding defaulting on its debts.

By the close of trading in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index had 1.2pc, or 34.5 points, to reach 2,907.42.

Traders started buying early with the index going straight into the black from the opening bell and staying there for the rest of the day.

Buyers were emboldened by reports that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou would win a vote of confidence last night, making it more likely that his government would pass the austerity measures required to avoid a disorderly default on its debt.

CRH led the market, the construction giant gaining 2.9pc to close at €14.72.

US housing's existing house sales fell to a six month low yesterday but analysts said the market may have finally reached the bottom there. Both Ryanair and Aer Lingus had a strong day as business at the Paris Airshow ramped up.

Ryanair climbed 1.54pc to €3.57 after it signed a memorandum with Chinese airline manufacturer COMAC to help design a medium range jet.

Ryanair "will share its experience and expertise to assist COMAC to develop the new C919 commercial aircraft, with up to 200 seats, which would enable Ryanair to lower costs and continue to lower fares for its passengers across Europe," the airline said.


Aer Lingus gained 2.86pc to 72c as it revealed new routes as part of its winter timetable.

Elsewhere, national benchmark indices climbed in all 18 western European markets.

France's CAC 40 Index gained 2pc, Germany's DAX increased 1.9pc and the UK's FTSE 100 rose 1.4pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 climbed 1.4pc -- its biggest gain since April 20.

"There is optimism that the moves Papandreou has made will be sufficient enough to get the vote passed," said Andrea Williams at Royal London Asset Management.

"It's one hurdle at a time for Greece. Spain's bond issuance also seems to have gone okay, which is also helping the market."

Spain sold €3bn of debt yesterday, compared with the Treasury's target for a maximum of €3.25bn.

Greece's ASE surged 3.7pc to its highest in two weeks. Eurobank, the nation's second-largest lender, soared 9pc and National Bank of Greece SA rallied 7.9pc.

In London, Rio Tinto and Xstrata rose with metal prices.

Rio Tinto, the second-biggest mining company, climbed 3pc while Xstrata advanced 2.2pc.

SABMiller declined 3.6pc. Foster's, Australia's biggest brewer, rejected a €7bn cash offer from SABMiller as too low in potentially the biggest beer industry takeover since 2008.

Irish Independent