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Irish airlines were among the top performers after it emerged that Emirates had bought control of a UK online flight and hotel reservations firm, leading to speculation that this may lead to further expansion into Britain and Ireland.

Ryanair rose a healthy 4.2 per cent to close at €3.78, while rival Aer Lingus rose by nearly 4 per cent to come in at 66 cent at the close of business.

Packaging giant Smurfit Kappa finished the day up 3.85 per cent at €4.85 a share based on news that it had secured better prices for containerboard.

Building materials company Kingspan rose 3 per cent to €6.55 after it was reported in the German media that it had expressed an interest in buying a company in that country.

Building materials and DIY group Grafton saw significant trading as one Dublin trader reported two large purchases following chief executive Leo Martin’s retirement last week. Grafton’s stock closed up 2.6 per cent to 64 cent on the day.

Investors in FBD show faith in the company as the insurer rose 3 per cent to €6.70 despite recent news about the sale of its insurance brokerage business.

The only notable casualty on the day was financial company IFG which closed 4.8 per cent lower at €1 a share.

Bank of Ireland, the only Irish bank left on the main Irish market rose 3.66 per cent to 8.5 cent despite the Central Bank lifting the ban on short-selling. This move could have affected Bank of Ireland’s performance but appeared to have little or no effect.

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Business & Finance - Business & Finance - Irish Stock Market

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