IRISH shares were little changed yesterday, as markets across Europe were subdued in the first full trading week of the year.
By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index had added 2.52 points, or 0.07pc, to end the day at 3,499.95. Earlier, the ISEQ had continued to add to its four-year high, hitting 3,510 at one point before falling back.
The market swung between gains and losses for most of the day and despite the overall gain more stocks fell than rose.
In percentage terms, Bank of Ireland was the big winner, rising 7.6pc to close at 13c.
Financial institutions had a strong day across the continent a day after it was revealed that incoming rules on bank capital requirements, known as Basel III, are to be much looser than had been feared.
Permanent TSB surged 7.4pc to 3c.
Aryzta continued its good run of late, adding 2pc to hit €40.75.
Elsewhere, European stocks retreated, after the Stoxx Europe 600 Index reached its highest valuation in almost three years, offsetting gains by lenders as central-bank governors diluted a proposed liquidity rule.
The Stoxx 600 declined 0.4pc, while national benchmark indices fell in 11 of the 18 western-European markets. France's CAC 40 Index fell 0.7pc and Germany's DAX lost 0.6pc. The UK's FTSE 100 retreated 0.4pc.
"It's another positive for the banking sector, which could be an important barometer for investors," said Daniel Bjork at Swisscanto Asset Management in Zurich. "The relaxation was more than what was expected, both with increasing the liquidity range and with the longer phasing-in period."
Barclays and BNP Paribas climbed 3.8pc and 1.9pc, respectively.
Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest lender, increased 2.8pc and Societe Generale, France's second-biggest bank, added 2.7pc.
Peugeot gained 5.6pc. Rolls-Royce fell 1.5pc. Europe's largest maker of commercial aircraft and ship engines allegedly bribed an executive at Air China and China Eastern Airlines to obtain $2bn (€1.5bn) of deals.
The company declined to comment on the allegation. The UK's Serious Fraud Office is holding an inquiry into Rolls-Royce's activity in several countries.
Infineon Technologies declined 2.2pc, its biggest drop in a month, as Bank of America downgraded the shares to underperform, the equivalent of a sell recommendation, from neutral.