Market Reports: Shares hit as investors weigh earnings and equity values
IRISH shares were down by early afternoon yesterday, in line with the European stocks.
By lunchtime in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index had slipped 0.75pc or 36.35 points to 4826.64.
The major European stocks were also down, as investors weighed earnings and equity valuations. US index futures were little changed, while Asian shares climbed.
The euro fell to the lowest level in two months versus the yen amid speculation the European Central Bank will introduce fresh measures to boost the economy when policy makers meet next month.
The shared currency traded at almost the lowest in five weeks versus the dollar after ECB Executive Board member Peter Praet was reported as saying the central bank was considering stimulus options.
The early leaders in the Dublin market included speciality baker Aryzta, which increased 1.2pc to €68, while agri-business Origin Enterprises rose 1.8pc to €8. Dairy company Glanbia was up 0.1pc to €10.97 by early afternoon, while Providence Resources rose fractionally, by 0.04pc, to €2.43.
On the other side of the board, fruit company Fyffes was down 0.4pc to €1.16, after earlier rising, as it announced that revenue rose just over 3pc in the first three months of the year compared with the same period in 2013.
Bookmakers Paddy Power, whose chief executive Patrick Kennedy announced this week he would be resigning next year, was also down 1.6pc to €55.79.
Bank of Ireland was down 4.1pc to 26 cents, while Dalata Hotel Group had slipped 1.4pc to €2.81.
Elsewhere, the Stoxx 600 fell 0.3pc to 340.96 at 11:18am in London.
The gauge advanced 3pc in the past four weeks as mergers-and-acquisitions activity increased and the European Central Bank pledged to ease monetary policy in June if needed. London's FTSE 100 fell 0.2pc by 1.23pm, France's CAC 40 was down 0.21pc and Germany's DAX slipped 0.16pc.
"After the tremendous rally up to Tuesday, investors are waiting to see what will happen next," Robert Halver, head of capital-markets research at Baader Bank in Frankfurt, said. "We see a mixed picture in earnings right now. The outlook is a little bit constrained."
Mediaset declined 6.7pc after the Italian broadcaster controlled by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi swung to a first-quarter loss.
Banco Comercial Portugues led lenders lower in Lisbon after a report that it plans a capital increase.
Compass Group rallied to a record after saying it will return $1.7 billion to investors.