IRISH shares fell marginally yesterday, as trading petered out ahead of the start of the Christmas break this afternoon.
In Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index had fallen 0.25pc, or 16.55 points, to close at 6,696.18.
The market struggled for direction throughout the day, before finally settling lower in the afternoon.
Volume was notably lower though, at just under 35m. That was the second weakest volume since October.
The ISEQ has fallen on nine of the last 11 trading days. However, it is still set to end the year in positive territory overall. It is up more than 28pc since January.
Dalata slipped 2.8pc to €5.15. The hotel operator is expected to spend more on expanding its hotels portfolio next year.
Irish Ferries' owner Irish Continental Group slid 0.7pc to €5.35.
Few stocks made significant moves in either direction on the session. Aryzta added 2.3pc to hit 44.87, although the speciality baker is off more than 17pc since the start of the year.
FBD added 0.5pc to close at €6.69.
It was a quiet day around Europe yesterday. European equities ended little changed after swinging between gains and losses amid sparse trading and a lack of catalysts as the Christmas holiday nears.
The Stoxx 600 Index fell 0.1pc but the FTSE 100 Index added 0.8pc in London. France's CAC 40 Index was little changed, as was Germany's Dax Index.
"The market is lacking confidence because there's nothing really out there that can give investors any reason to be confident," said Carsten Hilck at Union Investment in Frankfurt. "Liquidity is fading as we go into year end, there's no catalyst to move the market higher. It's getting very quiet and the market is pretty much on its own now."