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Shares fall from seven-year highs

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Dermot Crowley, Dalata's Deputy CEO with Pat McCann, CEO

Dermot Crowley, Dalata's Deputy CEO with Pat McCann, CEO

Nick Bradshaw

Dermot Crowley, Dalata's Deputy CEO with Pat McCann, CEO

Irish and European shares fell from seven-year highs following a five-week rally.

In Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index slid 46.07 points, or 0.68pc, to 5,975.1 points. Among the biggest decliners were FBD which closed down 4.1pc and CRH which was down 3.5pc at €24.07. Ryanair continued its recent advance, closing up 2.7pc at €10.48 while hotelier Dalata finished 0.9pc higher at €3.54 ahead of results today.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.3pc to 393.19 at the close of trading in London after falling as much as 0.9pc. Greece's ASE Index slid the most among 18 western European markets as euro-area finance ministers said the nation must move faster to meet its rescue commitments in order to unlock more bailout funds.

"In the very short term it seems European markets are overbought and due for a pause," said Raimund Saxinger, who helps oversee $22bn as a fund manager at Frankfurt-Trust Investment. "Greece is just a short-term worry. Perhaps markets have became too complacent about Greece, but in the longer term it will not have an influence on stock markets."

Germany's DAX Index, one of the the best performers this year among developed markets, added 0.3pc yesterday. The gauge reached more than 20 records in two months and options traders are showing little concern that it may drop, pushing the cost of hedging to a three-year low.

Lenders in Italy rose after Goldman Sachs wrote in a note that an Italian bank-reform bill will result in a wave of mergers. Banca Popolare dell'Emilia Romagna and Banca Popolare di Milano Scarl advanced more than 1.7pc, pushing the nation's FTSE MIB Index for the biggest gain among western European markets. Stocks on Wall Street rose as investors bet the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sooner than previously expected. Brent crude prices fell after the US called Venezuela a national security threat.

Irish Independent