European shares advanced on Tuesday as mining and energy stocks benefited from stable commodity prices, with Kingspan and Kerry Group standing out as bright spots on the Iseq.
Still, dealers said that gains were capped across Europe as investors eyed a speech after the close of trading on this side of the Atlantic by US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.3 per cent higher after flitting between gains through the session, with mining stocks rising 1.3 per cent as base metal prices appeared to have stabilised from a recent plunge.
Kingspan jumped almost 7 per cent to €82.08 as the insulation group guided analysts'estimates higher by saying its revenue for the first half is set to come to about €2.9 billion, up 40 per cent on the year and 29 per cent on the same period in 2019.
Kerry Group added 3.4 per cent to €112.10 as investors continued to cheer news on Monday of its €853 million agreed purchase of US preservative-maker Niacet, days after striking a deal to offload its low-margin meats and ready-meals business.
However, banking stocks were generally out of sorts, with AIB off 2.4 per cent, while Bank of Ireland lost 1.9 per cent.
UK shares ended higher on Tuesday led by gains in heavyweight energy and homebuilder stocks, while investors hoped that the central bank would keep interest rates at record lows despite a recent rise in inflation.
The benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.5 per cent, with British Land and Land Securities being the top gainers, up between 3 per cent and 4.7 per cent, after JP Morgan raised its price target on both the stocks on expectations of higher footfalls once the economy reopens.
Britain's biggest seller of building materials, Travis Perkins, gained 6.7 per cent after it raised its full-year earnings outlook.
Of Irish interested, Grafton Group's London-listed shares jumped 5.4 per cent after the DIY retailer and builders merchants group revealed it has signed a deal to acquire a Finnish workwear and personal protective equipment business.
Cardboard maker DS Smith fell 1.7 per cent, the second biggest loser on the FTSE 100 index, after reporting a 38 per cent slump in annual pre-tax profit.
After logging its worst week in four months last week, the pan-European Stoxx 600 was helped by encouraging comments from European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde on economic growth.
Oil and gas stocks rose 0.9 per cent as oil prices recovered from recent losses, while real estate stocks were also among the top gainers.
However, French healthcare group Sanofi fell 0.6 per cent even as it said the company and its US partner Translate Bio had started a Phase I clinical trial evaluating an mRNA-based investigational vaccine against seasonal influenza.
The Nasdaq was on pace for a record closing as of early afternoon trading as investors anticipated Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s remarks for clues on how the central bank is balancing inflation risk with its promise to ensure a full jobs market recovery.
Amazon. com rose as it entered the second day of its multibillion-dollar online sales event, Prime Day. The retail giant saw over $5.6 billion in total online sales in the US on the first day, according to Adobe Digital Economy Index.
Gains in other tech heavyweights including Apple, Nvidia and Microsoft were among the biggest support for the S&P 500.
Still, energy, financials and other economically-sensitive stocks that stand to benefit the most from a US reopening have far outpaced the benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow indexes year-to-date.
Crypto stocks including miners Riot Blockchain, Marathon Patent Group, Ebang International and MicroStrategy fell between 2 per cent and 5 per cent as Bitcoin slipped below $30,000 for the first time since January, briefly wiping out gains for the year.
– Additional reporting, Reuters