ISEQ slips but Aer Lingus takes off
THE ISEQ was little changed yesterday as gains in Aer Lingus and Petroceltic International offset declines in Aminex and Kenmare Resources. European stocks dropped as Italy's borrowing costs rose after the country sold €3bn of bonds at the highest yield since 1997.
The ISEQ slipped 2.43 points to 2,694.68 points. Aer Lingus jumped 5.3pc to 71.6 cents on news that the airline will shake up the management team. Petroceltic jumped 15.3pc to 9.8 cents on hopes that licences in Kurdistan are about to become valuable because the government there and in Iraq are on the cusp of an agreement.
Aminex was less fortunate, with shares falling 20pc to 3.2 cents. The shares have more than halved in recent weeks following disappointing results from a well in Tanzania. Shares in Kenmare slipped 4.4pc to 46 cents as the UK-based 'Mail on Sunday' recommended readers to take some profits but also hold some for continued growth over a five-year timescale.
Elsewhere in Europe, the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 1pc to 238.47 at the close in London, with all 19 industry groups declining.
National benchmark indexes fell in 13 of the 18 western European markets. France's CAC 40 Index lost 1.3pc, the UK's FTSE 100 Index slid 0.5pc and Germany's DAX Index dropped 1.2pc.
"With Italy now in the firing line, the indications are that the eurozone crisis is reaching a critical phase as we wait to see how quickly and decisively politicians and the European Central Bank will act," said Peter Sullivan, head of equity research at HSBC.
Stocks initially climbed after Mario Monti, a former European Union competition commissioner, was appointed Italy's new prime minister.
Italian bank UniCredit sank 6.2pc after the board approved a share sale to boost capital. The Italian lender also reported a €10bn loss for the third quarter, following almost €10bn in goodwill impairments and writedowns, and said it won't pay a dividend for 2011.
Spain's big banks including BBVA, Banco Santander and Bankinter all fell more than 2pc as Spain's 10-year bond yield rose to 6.11pc.
Hochtief declined 11pc for the biggest drop on the Stoxx 600 after Germany's largest construction company said that the "macroeconomic situation" has delayed the sale of its airport-operating unit.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 0.9pc to 1,252.02 at 1.31pm in New York.
Boeing rose 2.1pc after the plane-maker secured the biggest order in its almost 100-year history, signing a $26bn agreement with Emirates airline for as many as 70 of its 777 aircraft.