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ISEQ hit by fall in bank shares

Irish shares fell for a second day as financial services companies tumbled after being ejected from the closely watched MSCI index.

The ISEQ closed down 6.36, or 0.2pc, at 2979 points as Irish Life & Permanent tumbled 9.2pc to 12c and Bank of Ireland slid 5.3pc to 21c. The MSCI announced after the markets closed on Monday that Bank of Ireland will be removed from its Standard Cap Series and added to the Small Cap Series while Irish Life & Permanent will be removed from the Small Cap Series and added to the Micro Cap Series.

Allied Irish, which was not affected by the re-jig of the index, jumped 5.1pc to 21c as it unveiled a stream-lined management structure and replaced one acting chief financial officer with another.

Ormonde Mining, Providence Resources and TVC Holdings will all be added to MSCI's Micro Cap Series at the end of the month. The first closed unchanged, the second fell and third advanced. Other gainers yesterday included Glanbia which closed up 3.6pc at €4.56.

Shares retreated almost everywhere in Europe with national benchmark indexes closing lower in 15 of the 18 western European markets. France's CAC 40 Index slid 1.2pc, the UK's FTSE 100 Index lost 1.1pc and Germany's DAX Index dropped 1.8pc.

The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped for the fourth day, slipping 0.8pc to 277.78 in London, its lowest level in four weeks. The gauge has retreated for the past two weeks after a sell-off in commodity producers and renewed sovereign-debt concern outweighed company profits.

"Corporate news flow seems to have been taken rather positively to help steady the ship, but profound macroeconomic uncertainties remain very much in evidence," said Jeremy Batstone-Carr, head of research at Charles Stanley in London.

European finance ministers for the first time floated the possibility of extending Greece's debt repayments, saying last year's €110bn rescue has failed to restore the country to financial health.

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said Europe will consider "reprofiling" Greek bond maturities as part of a deal that includes faster sales of state assets and deeper spending cuts.

In Britain, data showed inflation accelerated in April more than economists had forecast to the fastest pace since 2008. A report in Germany showed investor confidence declined for a third month in May as rising prices threatened to curb consumer spending.

Vodafone, the mostly widely held stock in Ireland, climbed 0.9pc to 169.7 pence after the world's largest mobile phone company reported a smaller-than-estimated decline in full-year earnings helped by demand for smartphone data services.

Irish Independent