ISEQ dips but EU stocks hold firm
IRISH shares dipped yesterday despite European stocks shrugging off comments from a senior policymaker that Cyprus could be a template for other bailouts.
By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index fell 0.34pc or 13.21 points to close the trading day at 3918.9.
Elsewhere, European stocks advanced as traders latched on to better-than-estimated US data that helped offset concern that European politicians would impose losses on bank deposits in the region.
The Dublin market fell on opening and recovered in the early afternoon, but not enough to push the index out of the red.
Banks took a hit in the wake of a new report showing a fall in property prices and after results from Permanent TSB that reveal a €922m pre-tax loss last year.
AIB, which will be announcing its results this morning, fell 1.4pc to close at €0.07 after the Central Statistics Office said property prices suffered a greater fall last month than in January, knocking hopes of a potential recovery in the market.
Bank of Ireland was down 1.2pc to €0.16, while building materials firm CRH dropped 1.1pc to €17.10 and insulation giant Kingspan slipped 1.9pc to close at €9.45.
On the other side of the board, the winners included Donegal Creameries, which rose 5.7pc to €3.55, while bookmakers Paddy Power jumped 1pc to €69.85.
Food ingredients company Kerry Group was up 0.9pc to €45.24.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2pc at the close in London.
The benchmark gauge is heading for a 10th month of gains, its longest winning streak since July 1997.
National benchmark indexes advanced in seven of the 18 western European markets.
The UK's FTSE 100 added 0.3pc, France's CAC 40 climbed 0.6pc, while Germany's DAX increased 0.1pc.
In the US, demand for long-lasting manufactured goods surged in February and single-family home prices posted their biggest year-on-year gain in January in six-and-a-half years, fuelling demand for riskier British stocks.
"In the absence of any firm bad news over Cyprus, the market is pressing higher on the back of decent data out of the US," said Toby Morris, senior sales trader at CMC Markets.
"People are trying to get stuck into economic data which won't change a few hours later, instead of trying to pick up the pieces of the mixed messages out of the EU."
William Morrison Supermarkets Plc and Celesio AG led a gauge of retailers higher, each climbing more than 3pc.
Kazakhmys slumped to an almost four-year low as the copper producer cut its dividend.
Spanish telecoms provider Telefonica dropped the most in more than seven months after selling treasury stock.