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Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange.     Reuters

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange. Reuters

REUTERS

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange. Reuters

Most stocks in Europe advanced yesterday as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policy makers are ready to implement further stimulus measures to support the Eurozone economy if necessary.

In Dublin, the ISEQ index of Irish shares rose 0.2pc, with oil and gas explorer Petroneft Resources the big winner, increasing 14.6pc.

On the other side of the board, Ormonde Mining fell the most, down 1.85pc at 5.3c a share.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.2pc to 337.08 at the close of trading, after earlier gaining as much as 1pc and dropping as much as 0.6pc. Some 344 stocks rose, while 252 declined. The benchmark gauge climbed yesterday for the first time in three days as companies, including Marks & Spencer, reported earnings that beat estimates. The benchmark gauge posted the year's biggest weekly rally last week as the Bank of Japan unexpectedly boosted its stimulus.

"The key message was the same as it was last Friday with the Bank of Japan - investors remain obsessed with monetary policy," said Tristan Abet from Louis Capital Markets.

"Does it make sense to buy equities because of the meeting? No. There were no new elements. Investors who were short bought back their short positions on the news, because they maybe considered it was dovish."

The flagging regional economy and increased monetary stimulus from the Bank of Japan have put pressure on Europe's policy makers to do more to support a recovery. Over half the economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted the ECB will eventually embark on large-scale sovereign-bond purchases.

National benchmark indexes rose in 13 of the 18 western European markets.

The UK's FTSE 100 added 0.2pc and France's CAC 40 climbed 0.5pc. (Additional reporting Bloomberg)

Irish Independent