ISEQ continues winning streak
IRISH shares were little changed yesterday as declines in Fyffes were overshadowed by gains in Merrion Pharmaceutical and Petroneft.
The ISEQ overall index closed up just 3.5 points at 3122.28, a small gain that nevertheless helped to cement a week-long winning streak.
Among the largest percentage gainers was Petroneft Resources, which advanced 11.9pc to 47c. The exploration company, which is focused on Siberia, advanced as it prepared to hold its annual shareholder meeting tomorrow.
Merrion Pharmaceuticals posted a double-digit gain, rising 12.7pc to €4. Meanwhile, Fyffes spin-off Blackrock added 6.5pc to 3.3c after the developer said last week that it had sold a building in the UK.
Elsewhere, most stocks had a good day, with the MSCI World Index enjoying its longest rally in 11 months, while oil and copper soared and US Treasuries retreated after China said it would relax the yuan's fixed rate to the dollar.
Stocks rallied from Tokyo to New York after the People's Bank of China said it would end a two-year currency peg that was adopted during the global financial crisis to protect exporters -- a sign that policy makers expect the world economy to strengthen.
China, the world's largest copper consumer and second-biggest user of oil after the US, signaled the change before the G20 summit in Toronto next weekend.
"China's move is a positive," said Burt White at LPL Financial in Boston. "It shows China and the US will continue to be the two main engines of growth.
"Commodities are pricing in a strong advance in the global economy. The stock market has good momentum."
In Europe, 16 of 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600 advanced. Basic resources shares led, as BHP Billiton, the world's biggest mining company, gained 4.7pc and Rio Tinto Group surged 5pc in London.
Daimler led automakers higher, climbing 3.2pc in Frankfurt. Akzo Nobel NV rallied 2.1pc in Amsterdam after agreeing to sell its National Starch business to Corn Products.
BP Plc tumbled 2.2pc in London after saying the cost of its response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill had accelerated to reach $2bn (€1.6bn). BP faces an extra $500m a year in interest costs to raise $10bn in the bond market as it seeks to ensure it has enough cash to cope with the response to the spill.
Gold for immediate delivery was little changed after jumping to an all-time high of $1,265.30 an ounce.
Copper for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange surged as much as 4.6pc to $6,729.75 a metric tonne, the biggest increase since May 18, before paring its advance to 2.4pc.
Crude for July delivery, which expires today, rose 1.8pc to $78.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.