Irish shares fall; European stocks pare back gains
Irish shares were down fractionally by mid-afternoon yesterday, while European stocks reduced gains after a report said Greece may seek to delay a loan-repayment deadline.
By mid-afternoon in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.21pc or 7.52 points to 6,001.97.
The leaders in Dublin included packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, which was up 2.9pc to €26.89, while insulation group KIngspan rose 2.2pc to €18.03.
On the other side of the board, the laggards included bookmakers Paddy Power, which was down 2.2pc to €78 while building materials firm CRH fell 0.6pc to €24.08.
Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index added less than 0.1pc to 397.61 at 2:55pm in London, pared gains of as much as 0.9pc. Spiegel Online cited Greek Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis as saying his country does not want to respect an April 9 deadline to repay loans to the International Monetary Fund.
The equity gauge rallied 16pc in the first quarter, with carmakers leading gains, as the European Central Bank began a quantitative-easing programme and economic data beat forecasts by the most in two years. Greece's ASE Index slid 1.2pc, the worst performer among 18 western-European markets, after completing its longest stretch of quarterly declines in six years.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is trying to persuade Eurozone creditors to release aid even as he resists demands to increase austerity.
Warren Buffett told CNBC on Tuesday the euro region could withstand Greece's departure.
US stocks fell, after the Standard & Poor's 500 Index's ninth straight quarterly advance, amid declines for a second day in health-care and industrial companies.
American Airlines and Delta Air Lines slumped almost 4pc after Deutsche Bank cut its ratings on the shares amid concerns about their international business.
Boeing dropped 1.7pc. Merck slipped 1.8pc.
On currencies, the dollar declined after unexpectedly weak US economic reports renewed speculation that the Federal Reserve is in no hurry to raise interest rates.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dropped for the first time in five days after a private jobs report and a measure of factory output came in lower than projected.
Federal Reserve policy makers have held the main borrowing rate at virtually zero since 2008, awaiting signs the economic recovery is solid enough to withstand higher borrowing costs.
"This is a nervous market and we're getting back to the old-school data-watching," Eimear Daly, a currency strategist at Standard Chartered in London, said.
"It's all about the US at the moment and what they're doing and when we're actually going to get the first interest-rate hike from a major central bank."