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ISEQ stable after seesaw session

THE ISEQ resembled Kilkenny in last Sunday's All-Ireland hurling final; behind for most of the session only to finish with a draw.

The benchmark fell in early trading, rose after lunch before falling back into negative territory and then staging a comeback to finish almost where it started.

At the close of play, the ISEQ was just over a point higher at 3263.29 points. Among the gainers were Providence Resources, which soared 4.7pc to a new record of €8.54 as the company continues to issue bullish updates.

Another explorer, Kenmare, enjoyed a good day and finished up 2.6pc at 51 cents while building materials giant CRH advanced 2pc to close above the psychologically important €15 level at €15.10. Among the decliners were Aminex, which tumbled 27pc to four cents and UTV, which closed down 10.5pc at €1.70. Traders said there was no obvious reason for the sharp declines.

European stocks fell as China's imports unexpectedly dropped and Greece struggled to qualify for aid payments. The Stoxx 600 declined 0.2pc to 271.69 at the close. National benchmark indices fell in 13 of the 18 western-European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX slipped less than 0.1pc. France's CAC 40 lost 0.4pc.

Slipped

Food and beverage stocks contributed the most to the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index's retreat, as Unilever and Anheuser-Busch InBev each slipped. The gauge of food and beverage stocks lost 1.2pc for the biggest slide of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600. Unilever slid 1.7pc, while AB InBev sank 2.8pc. Nestle, the world's largest food company, declined 0.7pc.

Glencore International slipped 2.1pc after saying that Xstratas chief executive Mick Davis would leave six months after the conclusion of its planned takeover of the Swiss mining company. Mr Davis would then be replaced by its own chief executive Ivan Glasenberg.

A gauge of mining shares posted the biggest gain on the Stoxx 600 as copper prices rose. Rio Tinto Group climbed 1.6pc and Anglo American Plc added 1.5pc.

Philips dropped 2.4pc after Goldman Sachs cut its recommendation to neutral from buy. Credit Suisse also lowered its rating on Philips to neutral.

O2 owner Telefonica lost 0.9pc after Goldman Sachs said the Spanish company trades at an unjustified premium.

Deutsche Lufthansa climbed 2.5pc after unions called off strikes to take part in mediation. Lufthansa cancelled more than half of its flights on Friday.

Marks & Spencer added 2.7pc on reports bankers are evaluating debt packages to back a possible buyout of the retailer.

Irish Independent