Shares fall on political uncertainty
IRISH shares fell yesterday in line with stocks across Europe amid signs of returning political uncertainty in the region's weakest economies.
By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 0.83pc, or 29.48 points, to close the day at 3,543.37.
The fall more than reversed a gain posted on Friday. The Dublin index posted a mild gain on opening before falling throughout the remainder of the day.
Of the major stocks, Smurfit Kappa was one of the main laggards. The packaging firm slipped 3.9pc to finish at €9.95.
Recruitment firm CPL Resources was down 4pc to €4.29, while building materials giant CRH was down 3.3pc to €15.27.
On the other side of the board, mining company Kenmare Resources was up 9.1pc to €0.43, while speciality baker Aryzta jumped 2.3pc to finish up at €42.20.
Oil explorer Providence Resources enjoyed a gain of 2.6pc to finish the trading day at €7.25, while travel software firm Datalex gained 3.8pc to €0.83.
Elsewhere, European stocks tumbled the most in more than three months as Spanish and Italian banks retreated with the nations' bonds.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 1.5pc to 283.9 at the close of trading, the largest decline since October 23.
The gauge has still increased 1.5pc this year as US politicians agreed to a compromise budget to prevent automatic spending cuts and tax increases that threatened to push the world's largest economy into a recession.
National benchmark indexes declined in all of the 18 western European markets, except Greece and Denmark.
Italy's FTSE MIB Index sank 4.5pc, the most in six months. Spain's IBEX 35 slid 3.8pc for a sixth day of declines, the longest losing streak in 10 months. France's CAC 40 plunged 3pc for the biggest drop since April. The UK's FTSE 100 dropped 1.6pc and Germany's DAX lost 2.5pc.
Banco Santander, Spain's largest bank, sank the most in six months as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy denied corruption allegations.
UniCredit SpA, the biggest lender in Italy, posted the largest drop since June as former premier Silvio Berlusconi gained in opinion polls before elections this month.
Julius Baer Group fell 3.1pc after the wealth manager reported declining revenue margins.
"We've had this fantastic surge on a general warm feeling that markets, and banks in particular, were past the worst," James Ferguson, chief strategist at Westhouse Securities in London, said.
"Now we are beginning to question that at much higher levels, which makes us vulnerable to a downturn."