European shares rose slightly on Tuesday, holding near their highest levels since January, helped by a busy year-end for corporate deal-making and more signs that Italy is making progress on stabilising its wobbly banking sector.
Elsewhere, the dollar hit a 14-year high on Tuesday as the yen slid after the Bank of Japan stuck to its ultra-loose monetary policy, while US stock indexes touched record highs in early trading as the rally in riskier assets since the election looked set to continue.
On Wall Street, the Dow neared the 20,000 level as reassurance over Italy’s plan to spend up to €20 billion to rescue its troubled banks offset risk aversion following attacks in Turkey and Germany.
It was another quiet day in Dublin as the market starts to wind down. The Iseq index closed marginally lower at 6.477.67.
Banks bounced back across Europe after taking a hit on Monday. Bank of Ireland gained 2 per cent to end at 24 cents while Permanent TSB closed 3.4 per cent higher at €2.69.
Hibernia Reit, which announced a new lease with the Office of Public Works at Harcourt Square in Dublin, was flat at €1.21. Ires Reit was up 0.8 per cent to €1.17 after new figures showed that residential planning permissions jumped higher in third quarter.
Kingspan was 2 per cent lower at €25.06, while Kerry was down 1.6 per cent at €66.65.
Britain’s top share index rose to a two-month high , helped by gains in Carnival and strength in the bank sector after Lloyds rose after a deal to buy a credit card business.
The FTSE 100 index was up 0.4 per cent at 7,043.96 points by the close, slightly underperforming euro zone blue chips. Banking stock Lloyds was among the top gainers, up 2.2 per cent following its deal to buy the MBNA credit card business from Bank of America for £1.9 billion. Fellow bank Barclays rose 2.5 per cent, with Royal Bank of Scotland up 1.4 per cent.
Top individual riser was Carnival, which ended up 3 per cent after reporting results in the middle of the session. The world's largest cruise operator reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit, helped by an increase in ticket prices and onboard spending.
European shares rose slightly, holding near their highest levels since January, helped by a busy year-end for corporate deal-making and more signs that Italy is making progress on stabilising its wobbly banking sector.
A recovery in corporate mergers and acquisitions activity helped underpin the ongoing year-end rally, with Mediaset surging another 23 per cent in heavy volumes on Vivendi plans to raise its stake in the Italian broadcaster to 30 per cent.
Mediaset, which saw more than 10 per cent of its capital traded on Tuesday, has doubled in share price value since late November and is now positive on the year.
Euronext shares rose 2.5 per cent after Deutsche Boerse and London Stock Exchange said they were in talks to offload LCH.Clearnet to the pan-European exchange operator ahead of their planned merger.
The Dow and the Nasdaq hit record highs early in the day, with the blue-chip index just 13 points shy of the 20,000 mark, a level it has never scaled. Goldman Sachs, which was up about 1 per cent, gave the biggest boost to the Dow.
General Mills fell 3.3 per cent to $61.00 after the Cheerios cereal-maker's quarterly results missed expectations.
Nvidia was up 3.9 per cent at $105.59 after brokerages Goldman Sachs and Mizuho raised their price targets on the chipmaker's stock. The stock was among the big Nasdaq boosters. – Additional reporting: Reuters