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Aer Lingus falls amid IAG speculation

Irish shares bucked the trend yesterday by falling while the major European stocks rose.

By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.14pc or 7.21 points to end the trading day at 5,118.18.

Aer Lingus closed down yesterday after surging by more than 10pc on Friday amid heightened expectation that a second bid had been made for the carrier from British Airways' owner IAG. Confirmation of that rejected second bid came after the markets closed on Friday.

Yesterday, the stock dropped 3.3pc to €2.42 amid reports that IAG was planning a further bid for the former Irish flag carrier, possibly as early as this week. By contrast, IAG increased 0.8pc in London.

Paddy Power was down 2.1pc to €61.62, while speciality baker Aryzta slipped 1.8pc to €62.15.

On the other side of the board, the leaders included insurance group FBD, which rose 3.2pc to €11.35, while Ryanair was up 1.4pc to €9.65.

Elsewhere, the major European stocks advanced for the third time in four days.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.6pc at the close of trading in London, after earlier climbing as much as 1.1pc and falling 0.4pc.

Roche Holding helped send health-care companies up 0.9pc, and Greece's ASE Index climbed 3.8pc, completing its biggest two-day rally since November.

In London, the FTSE 100 was largely unchanged, while France's CAC 40 increased 1.2pc and Germany's DAX rose 1.4pc.

"Concerns about oil and Greece have given us a very volatile start to the year, though this was welcome for us," said Michael Woischneck, of Lampe Asset Management in Dusseldorf.

"It's an opportunity to pick up stocks. We increased our equity exposure quite significantly."

Lufthansa added 1.7pc.

The German airline said jet fuel costs should slide by €900 million this year, or 13pc, after falling an estimated €400m in 2014.

Irish Independent