European stocks rose as Russia and Ukraine agreed on the steps needed for a truce, while a poor euro zone purchasing managers' index stoked speculation that the ECB will increase stimulus measures.
The Iseq enjoyed a good day on the back of a number of strong performances. Traders reported generally solid volumes.
Ryanair closed 1.57 per cent up at €7.394, after breaking the €7.40 mark earlier in the day. The airline released figures showing August passenger numbers were up 4 per cent at 9.4 million, while its load factor – the proportion of seats sold – grew strongly to 93 per cent, from 89 per cent a year ago.
Iseq heavyweight, building materials group CRH gained 2.79 per cent to close at €18.04. Its shares suffered last week after it slipped out of the leading Dow Jones Eurostoxx index, but investors saw value in its price yesterday, dealers said.
International packaging group Smurfit Kappa climbed 0.34 per cent, to €17.655. Bookmaker Paddy Power also performed well, rising 2.34 per cent, to €52.50. Bank of Ireland added 1.62 per cent close at 31.3 cents.
Ashtead Group rose 3.6 per cent to 1,022 pence, after saying full-year results would be higher than forecast. The rental equipment company reported a 22 per cent increase in first-quarter underlying rental revenue and said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation jumped 30 per cent to £209.9 million.
Ryanair rival Easyjet climbed 1.41 per cent to 1,364 pence, while International Airlines Group rose 1 per cent to 370 pence. Both gains were said to be on the back of a general recovery in travel-related stocks that followed news of a possible Russia-Ukraine truce. Irish-based Grafton shed 0.23 per cent to finish at 647 pence.
Equities with exposure to Russia advanced amid reports of the ceasefire discussions. Nokian Renkaat, the Nordic region's largest tyremaker, which earned about 33 per cent of its revenue from Russia in 2013, rose 7.5 per cent to €26.10.
Danish brewer Carlsberg, for which Russia is a key market, climbed by 2.3 per cent to 529.50 kroner. Raiffeisen Bank International, which relies on Russia as its biggest profit generator, gained 6.2 per cent to close at €20.02.
Danone advanced 0.9 per cent to €54.21. The world's biggest yogurt maker appointed Emmanuel Faber as chief executive, while Franck Riboud remains chairman.
ING Groep climbed 1.5 per cent to €10.70. The biggest financial-services company in the Netherlands said it would reduce its stake in a former US insurance unit, Voya Financial, by selling $1.18 billion in shares.
Banks also did well, their industry group posted the second- biggest gain of 19 such groups on the Stoxx 600. Société Générale rose by 2.6 per cent to €39.37. Commerzbank, Germany's second biggest lender, climbed 1.6 per cent to €11.80.
Luxury goods group LVMH rose 2.9 per cent to €136.90. Hermes dropped 3.4 per cent to €253.75, paring earlier losses of as much as 11 per cent. The distribution of LVMH's 23 per cent holding – worth about €5.7 billion – will end a four-year battle over its stakebuilding in the maker of Birkin bags.
The fall-out from the publication of nude celebrity shots on the web weighed on Apple and helped drag down the Nasdaq in earlier trade yesterday.
Apple shares fell 4.1 per cent to $99.02, below the $100 mark for the first time since August. The decline dragged down the Nasdaq and depressed the technology sector which lost 0.6 per cent as the worst performing of the 10 major S&P groups.
General Motors, which narrowly missed expectations, slipped 0.6 per cent to $34.59 while Ford shed 0.4 per cent to settle at $17.53. Housing stocks were weighed down by a 4 per cent decline in Toll Brothers to $34.21 after the largest US luxury homebuilder posted quarterly results. – (Additional reporting: Bloomberg, Reuters)