Shares tumbling in wake of quake
IRELAND did not escape as markets around the world continued to fall yesterday.
The ISEQ index of Irish shares closed down 2.6pc at 2,747 yesterday as reverberations from the Japanese earthquake and nuclear crisis rumbled on.
In Dublin Merrion Pharmaceuticals was among the biggest decliners. Shares ended the session down 16pc at €2.10 each after the company announced losses of €2.5m for 2010. Losses widened from €1.6m in 2009 as revenues fell nearly €2m to €4.6m
In Dublin the banks were also under pressure after Finance Minister Michael Noonan said he would be "surprised" if the €10bn earmarked to recapitalise the bank sector will be enough.
Shares in Bank of Ireland fell 3.5pc to 30 cent each. Shares in Irish Life & Permanent dropped 14pc to 67 cent each.
Shares in Tullow Oil closed down 3.4268pc at €15.5 per share, despite the company announcing a deal with the Ugandan government on taxation that will allow Tullow to move ahead with activity in the country. The announcement was posted after 5pm, too late to affect prices on the day.
Shares in Irish-Swiss bakery group Aryzta closed down almost 3pc to €32.6 in a second day of decline after the company announced a big rise in earnings on Tuesday.
Shares in Aer Lingus fell 5.06pc to 75 cent each and Ryanair stock dropped 3.13pc to €3.23 each yesterday. The Irish airlines fell as carriers in Asia led the aviation sector lower across the globe on fears travel will decline in the aftermath of the Japanese crisis.
Stock market indexes across Europe closed down at the end of the day's trading, with Germany's DAX down by 3.19pc.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed down half a percent in a third straight day of losses.
In Germany Beiersdorf bucked the trend, the Nivea skin cream maker's shares rose 10pc after Procter & Gamble indicated interest in buying the company.
Also bucking the trend was Dutch chemicals group AkzoNobel, again on takeover speculation.
AkzoNobel shares closed up 4.9pc at €49.31 each on speculation that private equity firms could be eying an €11bn takeover bid. If true it will be the biggest leveraged buyout (LBO) since 2007.
UK stocks slumped for the fifth day in a row as investors sold the market on fears that the Japanese nuclear power plant leaks could do long term economic damage
The benchmark FTSE 100 Index fell 1.4pc to 5,695.28 in London.
In the UK names affected ranged from luxury brand Burberry to commodities producers Antofagasta, Vedanta Resources and Rio Tinto all fell.