Germany's top share index hit a new high for 2016 on Tuesday as European shares advanced for a fifth straight session, boosted by new highs on Wall Street and strong results from companies such as Munich Re. Germany's DAX closed up 2.5 per cent, having hit 10,701.33, its highest level since the last trading day of 2015.
The index is up 16 per cent from its June low and 23 per cent from a trough hit in February, meaning in technical terms it is in “bull market” territory.
The Stoxx Europe 600 was up 0.9 per cent, in positive territory for a fifth straight session. It is just 0.4 per cent away from regaining all of its losses made after the Brexit vote in late June.
Appetite for equities was also buoyed as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both hit fresh record highs on Wall Street.
The Iseq index of leading shares closed up 65.05 points at 5,960.13 with Bank of Ireland and Ryanair among the gainers.
Bank of Ireland continued its rebound, following other European banks higher to close up almost 2 per cent at 19.5 cents. Permanent TSB was down 2.3 per cent however to €2.09 despite new figures showing a 24.9 per cent rise in mortgage drawdowns in the second quarter.
Ryanair, which ended weakly on Monday, bounced back on Tuesday, ending the day up 2 per cent to €12.08.
Shares in hotels group Dalata rose by 1.7 per cent to €4.17 while Irish Continental, which has been relatively weak since the Brexit vote, closed down 1.7 per cent to €4.43.
Britain’s top shares index closed on Tuesday at its highest level in 14 months, lifted by gains in major financial stocks, including
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended at 6,851.30 points, up 0.6 per cent, above a high last reached in June 2015. The FTSE 100 is up nearly 10 per cent so far in 2016.
Insurer Standard Life rose 6.8 per cent and hit its highest level since the Brexit vote after reporting an increase in assets under management. Shares in rival Legal & General fell 5.6 per cent on disappointing profits at L&G’s investment management and general insurance businesses.
Shares in WorldPay, which provides platforms for merchants to accept payments by cards and other methods, climbed 2.5 per cent after its interim earnings beat forecasts.
German insurance group Munich Re closed up 5.7 per cent after it said its fall in profit was smaller than expected and it was on track for its profit target.
Shares in the Netherlands-based telecoms group Altice surged 14.9 per cent after the company said second-quarter core operating profit grew 2.7 per cent, beating forecasts as its Portuguese and US businesses offset a decline in profitability at its subsidiary SFR. However, SFR also rose 9.4 per cent, after the firm said a price war in France's mobile market showed signs of easing.
Danish jewellery maker Pandora dropped 4.2 per cent after its second-quarter profits came in below market consensus.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq came off their record highs in early trading on Tuesday as weak oil prices partially offset the gains in healthcare and technology stocks. The S&P 500 rose to 2,187.66, breaking its record for the fourth time this month, and the Nasdaq touched an all-time high of 5,238.53, before a 0.8 per cent decline in oil took some sheen off the rally.
The S&P 500 index's healthcare index rose 0.34 per cent, helped by a 23 per cent jump in Endo International after the company's quarterly profit beat estimates. The information technology index rose 0.23 per cent, lifted by a 0.8 per cent rise in Google's parent, Alphabet.
Valeant jumped 18.4 per cent after maintaining its full-year forecast and saying that it would reorganise its business.
Microchip Tech rose 6.9 per cent to $60.54 after the company’s first-quarter revenue beat analysts’ estimates.