IRISH shares continued to fall yesterday, as losses among several of the major stocks ensured a third straight day in the red.
By the close of trading the ISEQ Overall index had slipped 0.57pc, or 16.64 points, to 2,926.53.
CRH continued to lose, dropping 1.63pc to €15.96 a day after its annual general meeting. Last week's jump in US jobless claims, where CRH conducts a huge amount of its business, has raised fears that the recovery there may be slowing down.
Aer Lingus slipped 1.2pc to 83c after the airline said it might have to look for another round of cost cutting. The flag carrier's "Greenfield" programme was to yield some €97m in savings but that may not be enough to save the airline, the company said.
The finance sector had an indifferent day. Financial services firm IFG fell back after jumping more than a fifth on Wednesday following a takeover approach. The company closed off 2.86pc yesterday at €1.70. Bank of Ireland meanwhile lost 6.07pc to end at 23c while First Derivatives fell 3.65pc at €5.54.
Despite those losses there were some winning stocks on the day, with the agri-food sector leading the way.
Donegal Creameries was the leader on the index, closing up 2.75pc at €4.11. Origin enterprises added 2.7pc to reach €3.80 while Glanbia rose again, finishing the session up 1.63pc at €4.37.
Elsewhere, European stocks fell for a third day as bank earnings disappointed and commodities plunged.
National benchmarks fell in 14 of the 18 western European markets. The UK FTSE 100 slid 1.1pc and France's CAC declined 1pc. Germany's DAX was little changed as Adidas rallied. The Stoxx Europe 600 lost 0.3pc.
"Investors on both sides of the Atlantic are wary of some disappointing results in the banking sector and the selling is dragging down European indexes," said Michael Scholz, equity strategist at WestLB in Dusseldorf. "The bears may enter the driving seat if they win today."
Adidas surged 7.4pc to the highest price since its 1995 initial public offering. The world's second- largest sporting-goods maker said first-quarter profit rose as it sold more Reebok fitness shoes and generated higher revenue in emerging markets.
Lloyds tumbled 8pc to a 10-month low. The bank swung into loss in the first quarter after setting aside £3.2bn (€3.6bn) to cover potential claims of mis-selling payment protection insurance. Royal Bank of Scotland Group dropped 2.9pc.
Diageo, the world's largest distiller, advanced 1.7pc. Organic sales, which exclude acquisitions and disposals, rose 7pc in the three months, ending March 31, as sales of Scotch whisky in emerging markets offset sluggish demand in Europe. That outpaced the median estimate of eight analysts for growth of 3.3pc and the 4pc growth reported in the first half.