Irish and European stocks nudge higher

The ISEQ index of Irish shares closed up more than half of one per cent yesterday, mirroring European stocks which rose following a sell-off that wiped out two days of gains.

In Dublin, property investor Green REIT rose 1.56pc after announcing it had more than tripled full-year profits and was reducing its gearing levels by almost a third.

Oil and gas explorer Providence Resources led the laggards in dropping 4.5pc. The index is around 300 points below its 2015 high – posted last month.

In Europe the Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.5pc to 354.81 at the close of trading, after earlier rising as much as 1.2pc. Shares extended a weekly loss on Friday as mixed US Jobs data stoked concern about an impending Federal Reserve rate increase and the strength of the global economy.

“Nothing has fundamentally changed in Europe so this is really all about sentiment,” said Daniel Murray, London-based head of research at EFG Asset Management. “Markets go down one day and up the next – volatility is something investors have to get used to now. Worries about growth in China are going to be less important as the focus moves towards the Fed for the next 10 days. You can make strong arguments either way about whether or not they will hike.”

Miners posted the biggest gain of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600. In Dublin Great Western Mining was the day’s best performer – rising over 11pc.

In China, the governor of the country’s central bank forecast a return to stability for markets. Authorities there are seeking to bolster confidence after concerns over growth spurred the biggest monthly drop in global equities since 2012 in August.

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