Manufacturing propels European stocks
Strong manufacturing data in Europe and the United States helped to propel stocks yesterday, while the UK's FTSE started 2017 at a record high.
The pan-European STOXX 600 closed 0.7pc higher after hitting its highest level since December 2015.
By early afternoon in the US, stocks had pared earlier gains, however, as oil prices eased from an 19-month high.
"We've been particularly bullish on the FTSE whilst a lot of people were going short," said John Moore, a trader at Berkeley Capital.
"It's just good news all round - gold's up, we've had a bit of a bounce back in oil as well... propping up the European market, so we've been buying into this in the last week or so. We expect the trend to continue."
In Ireland, the Iseq Overall Index edged 1.2pc higher by the end of the session to close at 6,525.07.
Bank of Ireland was the stand-out gainer, rising 6.8pc to 25 cent a share as wider financial stocks rose. The Government's help-to-buy scheme formally began yesterday, while Davy Stockbrokers also selected the bank's stock as one of its preferred sectoral picks for 2017.
The STOXX Europe 600 Banks index finished 2.8pc higher after hitting a one-year high.
Shares in Smurfit Kappa were 1.8pc higher at €22.20, while in London, shares in Greencore fell 2.6pc to £2.40.
The UK's FTSE-100 closed 0.5pc higher. Germany's DAX was 0.1pc lower, and France's CAC-40 was up 0.3pc.
InterContinental Hotels hit a record high, then closed up 1.3pc, boosted by an upgrade to "overweight" from "equal-weight" from Barclays. Its analysts expect IHG's results in February to be a positive catalyst for the stock.