A partial rally in global oil prices helped buoy global shares with the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions helping European stock markets, in particular.
Most Irish shares joined in the rally, with AIB and Bank of Ireland — which international investors trade as proxies for the Irish economy — rising by up to 5%.
Both Irish banks have lost huge amounts of their value since the onset of the Covid-19 economic crisis over a month ago.
Ryanair missed out, however, as European airlines face a long road and a huge hit to their profits as the lockdowns will unlikely be lifted in time to save the tourism season. Its shares fell 1.5% to bring its losses in the past year to 25%.
In London, Aer Lingus and British Airways owner IAG has fallen even further. Its shares were down 2% in the latest session and have plunged 55% in the past year.
Chris Beauchamp, at online broker IG, said after the oil price plunge that hit global stock markets hard in recent days, investors were searching for any good news.
“Tentative moves towards the easing of lockdown restrictions continue, while it looks like investors are still keen to buy stocks, especially tech ones,” he said.
“From the general tone of markets and news updates, it looks like this rally is still being greeted with a healthy degree of scepticism, with a steady flow of predictions that a fresh decline is just around the corner.”
After a volatile session, the price of Brent crude traded at almost $21 a barrel, up by a huge 8% on the day.
However, since the start of the year, Brent has fallen more than 65% while the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate has dropped around 75% as the Covid-19 crisis plunged major economies into recession.
In the latest sign of excess supply, US crude stocks inventories rose by 15m barrels in the week to April 17 to 518.6m barrels, said the US Energy Information Administration.
Meanwhile, US gasoline stocks rose. “Gasoline inventories came in not as high as expected,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group.