A TAKEOVER approach for Elan was the big news on the Irish Stock Exchange yesterday where shares rose on the back of an offer from rival Royal Pharma.
Shares in Elan ended the session up 6.9pc at €8.52 each, following news of the unsolicited approach that values the Irish company at €4.9bn.
Other movers included building insulation maker Kingspan, whose shares were down 1.9pc to €8.68 each after the company reported a 12pc rise in trading profits yesterday.
Shares fell after management said conditions on the ground remained "undeniably testing" despite some hopeful economic indicators.
Shares in Bank of Ireland were flat at 14 cent each, after stockbroker Goodbody said it expected the bank to report a pre-tax loss of €1.8bn when it reports full-year results for 2012 next month.
Goodbody kept its 'sell' rating on the stock unchanged yesterday and said it still sees 11 cent a share as a fair value price.
The overall ISEQ index of Irish shares closed up 14 points at 3,709.
Elsewhere, the big news was renewed fears that Italy could plunge into political gridlock after an exceedingly close general election.
Shares in Italy rose in early trading yesterday on initial reports that the reform-minded centre left were ahead in the polls.
Those gains stalled and were reversed on later reports of gains for former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's party.
It left investors fearing a hung parliament in Italy that could derail a reform programme in the eurozone's third-largest economy and biggest single debtor.
Markets traded off with the results of the election still too close to call yesterday.
Italy's main FTSE MIB share index closed up 0.7pc after being up as much as 3pc early in the day.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average which trades later in the day, thanks to the time differences between the US and Europe, was down 0.33pc, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was off 0.35pc and the NASDQ was trading 0.11pc lower.
On the money markets, the euro hit a session low of US$1.3158 and last traded at US$1.3172, down 0.1pc on the day. The single currency was also down against the yen.
The euro continued to strengthen against sterling, however, in the first day of trading after the UK lost its AAA credit rating last Friday.
The 'spread' that measures the difference in the cost of borrowing over 10 years between Italy and Germany rose to 2.8pc after earlier dipping below 2.55pc, a sure sign of rising anxiety in the bond markets at the developments and renewed uncertainties over Italy.