Markets steady as Aryzta and Glanbia up
European stocks were little changed as real estate and property shares climbed, offsetting losses in banks and technology stocks.
By the close in Dublin, the Iseq Overall Index was down fractionally by 0.5pc or 34.52 points to end the trading session on 6,716.26.
The leaders on the Dublin market included speciality baker Aryzta, which increased by 1.8pc to €31, while dairy company Glanbia rose 0.6pc to €18.25.
On the other side of the board, the laggards included packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, which was down 1.6pc to €23.82, while building materials group CRH dropped 1.1pc to €32.35.
Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost less than 0.1pc at the close after swinging between a 0.3pc gain and a 0.5pc decline.
Banks fell to a one-month low, while Dialog Semiconductor led technology shares to the worst drop in the broader index after Bankhaus Lampe warned that Apple may cut back on its use of the company's chips.
Real estate stocks rose to the highest level since June in the fifth daily advance in six sessions. Banks closed at the lowest level in over a month.
"All eyes are on the upcoming earnings results of the US banks as they will provide some clarity on the general sentiment on the industry," said Andrea Tueni, a trader at Saxo Bank.
The VStoxx Index of euro-area volatility climbed 3.9pc for a 10th straight day of advances, as investors raced to protect recent stock gains ahead of the French election. An Ifop poll showed a lead for leftist candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon over rival Francois Fillon in the first round of voting.
The most likely outcome, a victory for Macron or Fillon, would be seen widely by investors as positive for France and for Europe, allowing "political uncertainty to dissipate and propping a risk-on move", Credit Suisse Group analysts wrote in a note.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg