Trading in Dublin was largely uneventful despite a number of company announcements on Wednesday. Other key factors include the biggest rise in the price in oil since December after US crude supplies fell for the fifth week in a row. In the US the markets were unmoved by President Donald Trump's sacking of FBI director James Comey.
Trading was described as “fairly flat” by an analyst with Davy just after close of business, with the market down 21 basis points.
Stock was up 5 per cent at Permanent TSB following a trading statement that reported strong lending.
Hotel group Dalata, which saw a number of large sellers in the market offload shares on Tuesday driving its price down 2.9 per cent, issued a statement that said trading was marginally ahead of expectations for the first four months of the year. It finished down 1.4 per cent.
Paddy Power Betfair made its first foray into the fantasy sports market in the US as it acquired Draft for an initial cash consideration of $19 million (€17.4m). Its stock closed on its lowest of the day, finishing down 0.5 per cent on very light volume.
Oil prices rose yesterday so airlines were consequently weaker. Ryanair was down 0.5 per cent.
Bank of Ireland was down 0.75 per cent after it rallied towards close of business after being weaker earlier in the day. Aryzta was up 1.8 per cent, while Kerry Group was down 0.4 per cent.
Crude oil prices climbed back over the $50 mark after Iraq and Algeria signalled support to extend Opec production cuts, helping buoy oil majors on the FTSE 100. Brent crude surged 2.4 per cent to around $50.12 per barrel on Wednesday, recovering some of the past week's losses prompted by concerns that no decision had been made on whether Russia would agree to extend oil cuts.
The news sent BP shares higher 4.8p to 460.55p, while Royal Dutch Shell's 'B' shares rose 27.5p to 2,168.5p, supporting a 0.6 per cent jump on the FTSE 100, which closed 43.03 points higher at 7,385.24.
Sterling, meanwhile, failed to break past the £1.30 level against the US dollar and was hovering near the flatline at £1.293 in afternoon trading. Versus the euro, the pound was up nearly 0.1 per cent at £1.189.
Barclays shares ended the day up 4.65p at 209.95p. The bank held its agm on Wednesday, where a substantial number of investors refused to back the chief executive's reappointment.
Greek stocks rose for a 12th straight day, the longest run of gains since 1991, outperforming broadly flat European markets as Athens looked set to clinch vital bailout loans.
While the pan-European STOXX 600 index edged up 0.2 per cent and the euro zone STOXX index closed flat, Greek’s main equity index rose 1.8 per cent.
The biggest risers were refiner Motor Oil and National Bank of Greece, up 4.8 and 2.4 per cent respectively. The increases came as Greek government borrowing costs hit their lowest level in more than five year.
Shares in Belgian hygiene products maker Ontex rose 3.6 per cent after the firm reported higher revenue in all of its five divisions. Well-received earnings boosted shares in French energy firm Rubis, which jumped 6.3 per cent to hit a record high.
Overall, more than 71 per cent of European firms have beaten earnings expectations.
US stocks churned near all-time highs on the back of the oil increases, while Treasuries advanced and the dollar’s rally faltered as markets showed little reaction to political events roiling Washington.
The SandP 500 Index edged higher in afternoon trading, within points of a record in the wake of Trump's firing of FBI director Mr Comey. Energy shares led gains as crude surged almost 4 per cent. – Additional reporting: Agencies