, Published: 02/09/2014

Irish and other European stocks advanced as European Union governments weighed further sanctions on Russia and investors awaited this week’s European Central Bank meeting.

In Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index closed up 39.39 points, or 0.8pc, at 4,822.52 points as heavyweights such as Ryanair extended recent gains. The airline closed up 3.2pc at €7.38. Oil company Providence Resources erased some recent losses to close up 9.8pc at €1.80, while Ormonde Mining closed up 6.1pc at 7 cent. Among the losers were Permanent TSB, which plunged 5.4pc to 8 cent. In London, Dublin-based Grafton closed up 1.4pc at £6.54 after announcing a bolt-on acquisition to expand in Kent.

National benchmark indexes rose in 10 of the 18 western European markets but the main markets traded in a narrow range. US markets were closed today for Labor Day holiday.

The UK’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX gained less than 0.1pc, while France’s CAC 40 slipped less than 0.1pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.3pc to 342.86 at the close.

Novartis climbed the most in almost three years after saying its experimental heart drug showed better results than standard therapy.

ITV gained 3.6pc after the ‘Sunday Telegraph’ reported that Liberty Global is preparing a takeover offer. The newspaper said Liberty Global, which owns a stake in ITV, is seeking the backing of other shareholders of the British broadcaster.

Havas gained 1.2pc after posting first-half revenue of €867m, exceeding analysts’ projection of €849m. The French advertising company said all economic zones showed a moderate recovery in the first six months of the year, a trend it expects will continue in the second half.

Iliad fell 8.8pc, its biggest drop this year as sources said the French mobile carrier has been talking to US buyout firms as well as companies and sovereign-wealth funds to improve its bid for T-Mobile.

Irish Independent