Talks on Greece end winning streak
IRISH shares fell yesterday, snapping a five-day winning streak, after concerns about the ongoing crisis around the Greek bailout talks hit trading.
By the close in Dublin the ISEQ Overall Index had fallen 0.4pc, or 12.99 points, to close at 3,250.76.
Most stocks declined as the index lost territory for the first time since November 15.
CRH fell 1.6pc to close at €13.78. The construction materials giant last week dismissed takeover rumours as "highly speculative".
Glanbia slipped 1.5pc to end the day at €7.98. Glanbia co-op's farmer shareholders will vote today on whether to sell as much as 10pc of its holding in the PLC. The move would finance a new milk processing business.
Few stocks made significant moves on positive side yesterday. Irish Ferries owner Irish Continental Group jumped 4.5pc to €18.50 while packaging firm Smurfit Kappa added 1pc to close at €8.91.
The Greek talks overshadowed trading across Europe, as European stocks declined, following the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index's biggest weekly rally this year.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.5pc, while national benchmark indices fell in 16 of the 18 western European markets. France's CAC slid 0.8pc, Germany's DAX dropped 0.2pc and the UK's FTSE 100 lost 0.6pc.
"After last week's unbroken gains, it's natural to have a little breather," said Jakup Petur Baerentsen, chief equity adviser at Nordea Private Bank in Copenhagen. "The markets have started to turn upwards again after a long period of doing not very much. Of course, the political risks remain, both in Europe and also anything coming out on the US fiscal cliff."
Euro-area finance ministers met in Brussels yesterday to try to clear the next instalment of Greek aid and discuss ways to keep the country a solvent member of the currency bloc. They failed to reach agreement in two previous meetings this month.
"It would be irresponsible not to reach an accord given all the efforts that have been made on all sides," French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said. "I'm not going to guarantee that an accord will be reached, but I think the third time should be the charm."
Barclays fell 5.4pc, the sharpest decrease since June 28. Qatar Holding sold the last of the Barclays warrants it acquired during the financial crisis, triggering a stock offering by the banks that arranged the transaction.
ThyssenKrupp, Germany's largest steelmaker, dropped 5.1pc, the biggest slump since March 6. The sale of its Americas unit has been delayed until September 2013. Separately, the stock was downgraded to neutral from outperform at Credit Suisse.