Irish shares lead Europe after May wins Brexit assurances

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LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) - Irish shares outperformed the rest of the euro zone on Tuesday after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and UK Prime Minister Theresa May agreed a new Brexit withdrawal deal to cope with misgivings about the controversial Irish backstop.

Dublin’s ISEQ climbed 0.8 percent, set for its biggest gain since March 1 and outdoing a 0.1 percent rise in the STOXX 600. The DAX rose 0.3 percent by 0825 GMT.

Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.7 percent as a surge in sterling weighed on the multinational exporters that dominate the index.

With earnings season nearing an end, results were down to just a trickle.

French engineering firm Spie led gains, jumping 6.2 percent after reporting stronger-than-expected net income.

German carmaker Volkswagen fell 0.2 percent after reporting a decline in operating margins for its core VW brand and announcing it would introduce almost 70 new electric models by 2028.

British defence company G4S fell 2.6 percent after its results, which traders said showed full-year revenues were weaker than expected.

Adyen dropped 4.8 percent after pre-IPO investors sold 2.5 million shares at a 9 percent discount.

Shares in Swiss toilet and plumbing supplies maker Geberit fell 1.7 percent after the company said it saw a challenging 2019 because of Brexit and political uncertainty in Italy.

Construction materials group Saint-Gobain got a boost from Barclays upgrading it to “overweight”.

Among small-caps, German steel trader Kloeckner & Co climbed 7.1 percent after saying it expects higher sales and core earnings this year.

But shares in Italian luxury goods company Tod’s fell 7 percent after it reported a 26 percent decline in profit as marketing costs rose.

Brexit hopes boosted British housebuilder and bank shares, with Lloyds, RBS and Persimmon among the top European gainers. (Reporting by Helen Reid, editing by Larry King)


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