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European stocks fall for a second week in their longest streak since October

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Reuters

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Reuters

REUTERS

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Reuters

Irish shares closed down yesterday, but Aer Lingus surged by just over 10pc amid increased speculation of a fresh bid from IAG.

But after the markets closed, it was announced that a second offer by IAG had been rejected by Aer Lingus. In Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index dropped 0.26pc or 13.33 points to end the trading day at 5,125.39.

Aer Lingus closed up 10.13pc to €2.50 as the Betaville blog cited sources that IAG has raised its indicative offer for Aer Lingus to between €2.70 and €2.85 per share.

Other leaders included banana company Fyffes, which rose 3.6pc to €1.09, while speciality baker Aryzta rose 1.7pc to €63.29.

The laggards included building materials giant CRH, which was down 1.7pc to €19.48 and drinks group C&C, which closed down 1.6pc to €3.62.

Elsewhere, a slump in Spanish and Italian lenders sent European stocks down for a second week, the longest streak since October.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 1.3pc to 337.93 at the close of trading in London amid concern that the European Central Bank's bond-buying plans won't be enough to shore up the economy.

A US employment report showed a drop in hourly earnings. In London, the FTSE 100 was down 1.1pc, while France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX both lost 1.9pc. The ECB is looking at ways of buying as much as €500bn of investment-grade assets, the Bloomberg wire service reported.

While the Stoxx 600 briefly erased gains after better-than-forecast US jobs data, it then fell as much as 1.8pc as earnings for all employees unexpectedly declined from a month earlier.

"This has the potential to have a negative impact as it is only €500bn," said Soeren Steinert, associate director for equities trading at Quoniam Asset Management in Frankfurt.

Irish Independent