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Food stocks feel bite as five-day winning streak ends

IRISH shares fell back yesterday, snapping a five-day winning streak, as disappointing data from the US and the lack of a resolution on Greek debt talks hit sentiment.

By the close of trading the ISEQ Overall Index had lost 1.03pc, or 31.38 points, to close at 3,005.69. The index slipped into negative territory and stayed there for the day. Despite the loss, the index still ended the week much higher, having opened at 2,929.

Food stocks endured a difficult session, with most firms in that sector struggling.

Kerry Group slid 2.42pc to €28.01, while Glanbia dropped 2.59pc to close at €4.92. Speciality baker Aryzta tumbled 5pc to €34.20 and ready meals maker Greencore dropped 2.73pc to finish at 64c.

Disappointing US home sales data hit CRH, which ended yesterday 0.62pc off at €16.10.

Sentiment was not helped by the lack of a deal in the Greek debt talks.

In percentage terms, PetroNeft had another tough day, slumping 14.57pc to reach 17c. BlueGold Capital Management, a London hedge fund focused on the oil and gas sector, liquidated its holding in the company.

Elsewhere, national benchmark indices fell in 12 of the 18 western European markets. France's CAC 40 fell 0.2pc and the UK's FTSE 100 dropped 0.3pc, while Germany's DAX Index slid 0.1pc. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.3pc.

"Most indices have already risen as much as they were expected to for the whole year, so naturally investors are getting a bit cautious," said Witold Bahrke, a senior strategist at PFA Pension in Copenhagen.

BP, the UK's second-largest oil company, dropped 3pc as crude declined for a third day in New York trading.

Novartis fell 3.6pc as the European Medicines Agency started a review of the Swiss drugmaker's Gilenya pill for multiple sclerosis after 11 deaths among patients.

National Bank of Greece, the country's largest lender, added 5pc. Alpha Bank and EFG Eurobank Ergasias rose 7.1pc and 6.4pc respectively. Commerzbank, Germany's second-largest bank, added 6.3pc.

In London, Petrofac paced declining shares, sliding 3.6pc as JPMorgan lowered its recommendation for the shares to "neutral" from "overweight".

Weir Group sank 4.7pc, pacing a sell-off in rival Gardner Denver, which tumbled 5.1pc in US trading.

Meanwhile, Vodafone shares climbed 1.4pc after India's Supreme Court said the mobile-phone company wasn't liable to pay $2bn (€1.56bn) in tax.

Irish Independent