World stock markets scaled fresh highs yesterday, with key US indexes lifted by rosy retail results, while the US dollar dipped and oil prices fell after Opec extended output cuts for a shorter period than expected.
In the US the S&P 500 index and Nasdaq Composite opened at record highs, while the VIX "fear gauge" of expected volatility in the S&P 500 opened at 9.82, its lowest since May 10.
The gains were propelled by strong sales at electronics retailer Best Buy, lifting its shares 17pc to be the top gainer on the S&P 500. Robust results also boosted Tommy Hilfiger-owned PVH by 7pc.
Oil prices fell as Opec prepared to extend supply curbs by nine months to March 2018 to drain a glut that has depressed markets for almost three years.
This was a shorter period of time for such limits than some market participants had expected.
In Europe, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was little changed, losing just 0.03pc.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was led lower by basic resources and energy companies earlier in the day; it still held close to 21-month highs.
In Dublin the Iseq index was flat. AIB shares continued to rise, gaining 2.22pc to €9.20 a share despite warnings the stock is overvalued.
Gainers included Total Produce, Aryzta and Permanent TSB. Decliners included Malin Corp, C&C and Paddy Power.
In the currency markets, the euro edged down 0.04pc to $1.1213, pulling further away from Tuesday's six-and-a half month high of $1.1268. Sterling slipped against the euro to 86.56 pence per euro to leave it hovering just above a two-month low hit earlier in the week. It has fallen roughly 4pc over the last month.