A rally among exporters amid a weaker euro pushed European equities near their highest prices since April, while Germany’s DAX Index erased all of its annual decline, as carmakers led the advance.
UK stocks advanced as Bank of England governor Mark Carney said the risk of a domestic recession had receded because of the bank's actions after the Brexit vote.
The Iseq remained relatively quiet, up just 0.2 per cent.
US stocks dropped from near-record levels and the dollar gained as traders digested mixed data in the world’s largest economy amid bets interest rates will stay low.
Insurance company FBD Holdings rose in early morning trading and stayed that way, finishing the session up 1.45 per cent at €7 per share.
Analysts flagged the impact of an Irish Times story about a Government working group on the cost of insurance, with politicians promising to address the "root causes" of high policies.
CPL Resources finished up 1.92 per cent at €5.85.
Goodbody said the stock's discount relative to its peers was "unwarranted" and retained a price target of €7.
Datalex, the travel software company, continued its recent good run, finishing up close to 3 per cent, one of the best performers on the day.
The property company Reits had a good session, with Hibernian Reit up 1.7 per cent and Ires, the residential Reit, finishing ahead by 2.1 per cent.
The Iseq's biggest stocks were restrained, with Ryanair and Kerry up marginally, but Smurfit Kapp down and CRH, the largest on the exchange, barely moved.
Gold miners Randgold Resources and Fresnillo climbed on the back of a gold price rise.
Firmer oil prices also lifted shares in Royal Dutch Shell and BP, also supporting the FTSE 100.
However, housebuilding stocks such as Berkeley Group and Barratt Developments fell, as investors remained unconvinced that the sector could escape the after-effects of Britain's shock vote to quit the European Union.
Barratt said sales had risen post-Brexit, although analysts remain cautious.
Blue chips aside, financial spreadbetting and trading company CMC Markets slumped 12.3 per cent after warning of lower first-half net operating income.
Mike Ashley's Sports Direct dropped 8.7 per cent after the retailer lowered its guidance for 2017.
British engineering group Weir was the best-performing STOXX 600 stock in percentage terms, climbing 4.5 per cent after Morgan Stanley raised its rating on it to "overweight" from "equal weight".
European stock markets were propped up as euro zone bond yields fell on bets that the European Central Bank, which meets on Thursday, will announce further policy easing measures.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index finished up 0.3 per cent at 350.46 points, near its highest level since January, although the index remains down by 4 per cent so far in 2016.
Across Europe, Germany's Dax climbed 0.6 per cent, with steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG, chemical company BASF SE and Daimler AG advancing the most.
The Cac 40 in France also finished 0.6 per cent higher.
Shares in Swiss security company Dorma+Kaba slumped 7.9 per cent after the company reported a drop in profits.
Heading into the afternoon, consumer staples companies were on the way to their worst drop in six weeks as Whole Foods Market and Kroger fell more than 4 per cent, tracking a 14 per cent drop in rival Sprouts Farmers Market after the company cut its profit outlook.
Apple shares were down 0.12 per cent at $107.62, after the biggest company by market value launched the new iPhone.
Facebook climbed to a fresh high, extending its longest winning streak in five months.
Retrophin soared 34.25 per cent after the company said its drug to treat a kidney disorder met the main goal of a mid-stage study.
The stock was the top percentage gainer on the Nasdaq.
(Additional reporting: Bloomberg/Reuters/PA)