Dublin market ends the quarter down
The ISEQ ended 0.49pc lower on the day at 6,308 yesterday, and ends a turbulent first quarter of the year in negative territory.
The Dublin index came into the year at 6,791.68 and is now well off the highs of 2015.
The drop yesterday was in line with European shares, weaker after solid gains in the previous session, with French telecoms and Italian banks underperforming.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 1pc. The index had risen 1.3pc in the previous session after Fed Chair Janet Yellen's call for caution in raising US interest rates buoyed global stock markets.
French telecom stocks were among the worst performers after Orange and Bouygues gave them themselves until Sunday to salvage a merger between France's dominant telecom operator and Bouygues Telecom, citing a lack of progress ahead of a deadline yesterday.
Orange shares fell 1.3pc, while Bouygues declined 3.6pc. Rival French telecom stocks also lost ground, with Iliad dropping 2.7pc, Numericable-SFR down 1.8pc and Altice down 1.9pc.
Italian banks also slumped sharply, as three sources told Reuters that guarantor UniCredit was considering whether to delay Banca Popolare di Vicenza's €1.76bn rights issue, if market conditions did not improve.
In the US stock index futures were little changed yesterday ahead of jobs data, the last day of a turbulent first quarter there too.
Global stocks fell, while safe-haven gold and bonds rose as investors closed off positions for the quarter.
However, the S&P 500 is now up nearly 1pc this year after being down as much as 10.5pc in February.