European shares ended higher on Tuesday, on hopes that demand in China could be sustained as authorities looked to relax Covid-19 restrictions as investors also welcomed upbeat earnings forecasts.
US stocks rose as Citigroup led a surge in bank shares after Berkshire Hathaway revealed a big stake and strong retail sales in April eased some concerns about slowing economic growth.
The Iseq index rose by almost 1.3 per cent as many of its heavy hitters finished the session in positive territory.
Irish multinationals with US exposure fared well, as fears of economic slowdown in the US eased. Building materials group CRH was up 2.8 per cent to €37.95, while insulation supplier Kingspan was up 2.3 per cent to €77.08.
Ryanair was up almost 3.3 per cent to €14.04, a day after its chief executive Michael O'Leary warned of price hikes this summer, while it is also increasing the number of routes and bases to cope with soaring demand for travel.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed 0.7 per cent higher, but lagged its continental peers as the pound jumped more than 1 per cent.
The domestically focused FTSE 250 gained 0.7 per cent. Among top movers on Tuesday, Imperial Brands jumped 7.9 per cent after reporting a marginal increase in first-half sales, helped by demand for e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. ContourGlobal surged 32.9 per cent to the top the FTSE midcap index after KKR & Co agreed to buy the London-listed power generation firm for £1.75 billion (€2 billion).
Strength in sterling dented shares of global companies such as Unilever, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline . Société Générale downgraded Unilever's stock to "sell".
Irish conglomerate DCC, which is listed in London, fell almost 2 per cent despite reporting an 11 per cent rise in profits. Cidermaker C&C, which is also listed in London, rose 5.5 per cent after reporting an 88 per cent rise in revenues for the 12 months to the end of February.
Imperial Brands rallied the most since March 2020 after the tobacco company reduced its losses from next-generation products and continued on a turnaround plan.
The Stoxx 600 index rose 1.2 per cent, with a 3.2 per cent jump in the mining sector leading gains. Banks and industrial stocks were also among sectors providing the biggest support.
French power group Engie firmed 5.3 per cent after it posted higher first-quarter profits and raised its 2022 outlook while saying it was in talks with Russia's Gazprom regarding changing the payment scheme for gas supplies. Daimler Truck Holding and Spain's Caixabank rallied 6.5 and 5.2 per cent respectively, on upbeat forecasts.
Equinor edged 0.2 per cent lower after the Norwegian oil producer told Reuters that it took the first steps, along with Exxon Mobil Corp, to expand an $8 billion oil development off Brazil's coast.
Prosus jumped to the highest level since mid-April after JPMorgan upgraded the stock to overweight from neutral.
Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced, with financials and technology up 2 per cent each. Microsoft, Apple, Tesla and Nvidia gained between 1.5 per cent and 4.8 per cent, providing the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.
Banks jumped 3.1 per cent, with Citigroup climbing 7.9 per cent, after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a nearly $3 billion investment in the US lender.
However, rising costs weighed on Dow component Walmart, which slid 9.8 per cent, after the retail giant cut its annual profit forecast, signalling a bigger hit to margins. Retailers Costco, Target and Dollar Tree fell between 1.2 per cent and 2.7 per cent.
United Airlines gained 6.5 per cent after the carrier lifted its current-quarter revenue forecast, boosting shares of Delta Air, American Airlines and Spirit Airlines.
– Additional reporting: Reuters/Bloomberg