Irish stocks drop due to new US trading concerns
IRISH shares have fallen for only the second day in the last fortnight, as fresh concerns over the US economy hit trading.
By the end of the day, the ISEQ Overall Index had fallen 0.27pc, or 8.9 points, to close at 3,291.83.
The drop cut the ISEQ's weekly gain to just under 1pc, having opened on Monday at 3,263.75.
The index held steady in the opening hours but then experienced a volatile afternoon before a late sell-off pushed it into the red.
There was little direction on the market, with no single industry standing out on either side of the board. On a day of contradictions, almost as many companies climbed as fell.
Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks dropped 5.1pc and 3.6pc respectively, while Providence Resources continued its swoon of late, dropping 2.2pc to close the day at €6.70.
Packaging group Smurfit Kappa fell 2.1pc to €9.01, while Elan dipped 2pc to €7.72.
Few companies made significant moves up the board, but Aryzta added 1.4pc to €39.15, while Grafton Group added 1.9pc to reach €3.72.
Independent News & Media jumped 8.8pc.
Elsewhere, national benchmark indices declined in 11 of the 18 western European markets. France's CAC 40 Index slid 0.3pc, while Germany's DAX and the UK's FTSE 100 were little changed. The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell from a 17 month high, dropping 0.2pc.
Spending by US consumers declined and incomes stagnated in October as Superstorm Sandy kept some in the Northeast from getting to work or shopping at malls and car dealerships. Purchases decreased 0.2pc, the weakest reading since May, after a 0.8pc gain in the prior month, Commerce Department figures showed.
"There is tension coming back into the bond market," said Arnaud Scarpaci, fund manager at Montaigne Capital in Paris. "We've also had a disappointment with the economic data out of the US. The market is consolidating a bit."
Lenders in particular struggled. Bankia, the nationalised Spanish lender, slumped 25pc for the biggest drop in the Stoxx 600. National Bank of Greece lost 5pc, falling to its lowest price in more than three months.
Taylor Wimpey advanced 3pc as UBS raised the UK's second-largest homebuilder by volume to buy from neutral. Heidelberg Cement rallied 2.3pc.