European shares rose on Thursday as investors focused on hopes of a steady economic rebound, with Bank of Ireland standing out as a bright spot in Dublin as it shook off concerns about the Government's plans to selling down its stake in the lender over the coming months.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.9 per cent, with technology, retail and travel and leisure stocks among the biggest gainers.
Technology stocks jumped 1.7 per cent, tracking gains in the tech-heavy US Nasdaq index.
The benchmark STOXX 600 has seen sharp swings this week, with losses on Wednesday almost erasing gains from the previous two days as mixed messages from the US Federal Reserve left investors uncertain about central banks' approach to tapering their massive stimulus in the face of rising inflation.
However, with the European Central Bank reaffirming its accommodative stance on monetary policy earlier this month, analysts said they did not expect European equities to continue to slide.
Bank of Ireland rallied by 3.4 per cent to €4.55, following a 2 per cent drop on Wednesday as investors first digested news that the Government plans to gradually sell part of its 13.9 per cent stake in the bank on the market over the coming months.
AIB added 1 per cent and Permanent TSB gained 3 per cent as the market concluded that the announcement was a positive signal about the capital position of Irish banks as they continue to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Datalex was also in demand, rising 1.5 per cent to 70 cent, amid hopes that the travel retail software provider's ongoing capital raise will put it in a good position to benefit from a gradual opening of the global economy.
The FTSE 100 rose 0.6 per cent, led by mining and healthcare-related stocks as the Bank of England kept its crisis-era monetary policy unchanged.
Drugmaker AstraZeneca and miners Anglo American, Rio Tinto and BHP Group providing the biggest boost to the index.
A rally in homebuilders fizzled out despite upbeat half-yearly earnings from Crest Nicholson Holdings.
Carnival Corp fell 1.5 per cent after the cruise operator reported a quarterly loss of more than $2 billion (€1.68bn) as a 15-month suspension of voyages due to the Covid-19 pandemic hammered its business.
German shares gained 0.9 per cent as data showed an important business climate index rose by more than expected in June and hit its highest level since November 2018.
In company news Swiss laboratory instruments maker Tecan Group jumped 10.8 per cent to a record high after it said it would buy US medical devices and life sciences instruments group Paramit Corp for $1 billion.
French retailer Carrefour rose 0.7 per cent after it said late on Wednesday it had started considering possible consolidation, divestitures or tie-ups of its foreign subsidiaries.
Airbus shares gained 0.6 per cent even as regulators called for more rigorous checks when pulling some of its jets out of pandemic storage following flawed cockpit readings that could suggest blocked sensors.
The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 indexes hit all-time highs by early afternoon trading on Wall Street, boosted by shares of Tesla and other top-shelf technology firms as data showing fewer weekly jobless claims bolstered views of a steady recovery in the labour market.
Tesla rose after chief executive Elon Musk said he would list SpaceX's space internet venture Starlink when its cash flow is reasonably predictable, adding that Tesla shareholders could get preference in investing.
Mega-cap tech names such as Apple, Microsoft, Google-owner Alphabet, Netflix and Facebook also gained.
Eli Lilly jumped after the drugmaker said it would apply for the US Food and Drug Administration's accelerated approval for its experimental Alzheimer's drug this year. – Additional reporting, Reuters