IRISH shares edged downwards yesterday as the banks declined. Shares almost everywhere else gained on optimism that Europe's economies are on the rebound.
The ISEQ closed down 13.37 points, or 0.4pc, to 3530 points.
The biggest decline came from Donegal Creameries which slid 8.3pc to €3.20. Allied Irish slipped 2.9pc to seven cent, while Permanent TSB tumbled 5.4pc to four cent, amid concern that the banks and the Government are unable to agree on a policy to forgive mortgage debt.
Ormonde Mining jumped 8.6pc to nine cent while DCC tacked on 1pc to €24.78 on hopes that bad weather will boost demand for heating oil. Aer Lingus advanced 0.5pc to €1.29 ahead of results today.
European stocks rebounded yesterday, climbing the most in almost four weeks as companies from Munich Re to BP beat earnings estimates and surveys of the services sector signalled that output shrank less than forecast.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.6pc to 285.56 at the close in London.
National benchmark indexes rose in 15 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 gained 0.6pc and France's CAC 40 jumped 1pc. Germany's DAX advanced 0.4pc.
Munich Re rose after the world's biggest reinsurer said it will increase its dividend for 2012. Virgin Media surged to a record price after confirming it held talks with Liberty Global. Royal KPN NV retreated the most in more than 11 years after saying it will sell €4bn of shares.
"The reporting season so far in the US and in Europe has generally been good, expectations have been beaten, and commentary about the year ahead has been more upbeat than people had expected," said Matthew Beesley, who helps oversee $3bn (€4.07bn) of assets as head of global equities at Henderson Global Investors Holdings in London.
Alfa Laval jumped 4.7pc as the world's largest maker of heat exchangers said fourth-quarter profit fell less than expected.
US stocks also rose during afternoon trading in New York, with the Dow rising above 14,000, as earnings came in stronger than expected and investors sought bargains a day after the market's biggest drop since November.
Dell's stock rose after the world's third biggest computer maker agreed to be taken private in a $24.4bn deal, the largest leveraged buyout since the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The stock gained 0.8pc to $13.39 after a delayed open.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 30.96 points, or 0.99pc, at 3,162.13.