The Iseq surged 1.2 per cent on Monday, helped by a surge Ryanair, one of the index’s heavyweight stocks, and as investors globally were cheered by easing trade tensions between the US and China.
The Iseq closed at 7,181.25, less than 55 points off the decade-high reached by the index in January before equities were sold off across the world.
Ryanair jumped 5.1 per cent to €16.27 to shake off earlier losses, when the group accompanied a strong set of profits for the year to March with a disappointing earnings forecast for the current year. However, the market soon began to focus on comments from chief executive Michael O’Leary on how many of the carrier’s rivals will be put out of business as the price of oil edged towards $80 a barrel.
Aryzta gained 4.8 per cent to €18.24, while Permanent TSB advanced by 2.6 per cent to €1.74.
Smurfit Kappa edged 1.1 per cent higher to €34.18 on the back of reports over the weekend that its unwanted suitor International Paper will continue to press for a meeting with the Irish group’s management with a view to securing a takeover deal in the coming weeks.
The FTSE 100 soared to a new record on Monday after news of a truce in the contentious trade dispute between the US and China cheered investors and helped send the pound lower against the dollar.
News that the world’s two largest economies had backed away from a potentially disastrous trade war and agreed to abandon plans to raise tariffs on each other’s exports lifted the UK’s leading index to a peak of 7868.12, the first time it has climbed above 7800.
This beats the previous high of 7792.56 set in the middle of January and is more than 14 per cent above this year’s low, hit in March.
The pound fell 0.4 per cent against the dollar to $1.3414, giving a lift to the large number of overseas earners in the FTSE 100 who benefit from a weaker sterling.
Banks HSBC and Barclays, and insurance company Prudential, provided the big boosts, up 0.7 per cent to 1.1 per cent.
Most European markets were lifted by the US-China truce. Germany’s Dax was closed for the Whitsuntide Monday holiday but France’s Cac finished 0.4 per cent higher and the pan-European Stoxx 600 added 0.4 per cent.
However Italy’s FTSE MIB fell 1.5 per cent as the country’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and League parties sought presidential approval for a prime minister to lead a government whose plans to raise spending have upset financial markets.
Drug maker AstraZeneca rose 3.4 per cent as the US Food and Drug Administration approved its new treatment for hyperkalaemia, a dangerous state of elevated potassium in blood serum.
International Consolidated Group, owner of Aer Lingus, added 1.6 per cent after reports the company is planning to make a €1.5 billion offer for Norwegian Air Shuttle.
US stocks rallied on Monday after the US and China put their trade differences “on hold” to work on a wider agreement, while sentiment was also boosted by the nearly $28 billion worth of merger deals.
In early afternoon trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.2 per cent, at 25,017.02, the S&P 500 0.8 per cent higher and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.6 per cent.
Boeing, which sells about a quarter of its commercial aircraft to Chinese customers, jumped 3.4 per cent, the biggest percentage gainer on the Dow and lifting the blue-chip index higher.
General Electric advanced 2.6 per cent on an $11.1 billion deal to merge its transportation business with rail equipment maker Wabtec, which jumped about 4.2 per cent.
Still, not all US business leaders were happy with the trade war truce, with some cautioning that Washington would find it tough to rebuild momentum to address what they see as troubling Chinese policies.
AK Steel and US Steel both fell more than 4 per cent following a delay in implementing tariffs on Chinese imports. – Additional reporting, Reuters, BloombergTags: Aer Lingus, Ak Steel, AstraZeneca, Barclays, Bloomberg, Boeing, Business, China, Europe, Food And Drug Administration, France, General Electric, Germany, HSBC, International Consolidated, International Paper, Italy, London(GB), Markets, Michael O Leary, New York City, Norwegian Air, Permanent TSB, Prudential, Ryanair, Smurfit Kappa, United Kingdom, United States, US Steel, Wabtec, Washington(US)