Shares take a breather after recent rally added strong gains
IRISH shares dipped yesterday, ending an impressive near week-long rally.
European markets also fell with stocks dropping from a four-and-a-half-year high.
By the close in Dublin, the ISEQ Overall Index was down 1.5pc or 58.13 points to end the trading day at 3826.03.
Despite the fall-off – the first for four trading days – the index was at one of its highest levels since the autumn of 2008.
The Dublin market fell throughout the day after opening.
The laggards included agricultural services business Origin Enterprises, which dipped 4pc to close at €4.80 despite the company recording a group operating profit of €13.25m for the six months to the end of January.
This is up from €12.93m in the same period to the end of January 2012, according to the company's interim results.
Revenue from agri-services was €567.7m compared to €507.4m in the previous period - an increase of 11.9pc.
Building materials group CRH fell 4.3pc to finish at €16.75, while Irish packaging giant Smurfit Kappa dropped 3.2pc to finish at €12.
On the other side of the board, insulation maker Kingspan enjoyed a marginal boost with its share price up 0.7pc to €9.38, while no-frills airline Ryanair increased 1pc to end the day at €5.90.
Donegal Creameries was up 2.9pc to close the trading day at €3.60. Elsewhere, European stocks fell from a four-and-a- half year high, with the benchmark index reversing gains in the last hour of trading.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 0.3pc by the close.
National benchmark indexes dropped in 14 of the 18 western European markets.
Germany's DAX added 0.6pc and France's CAC 40 retreated 0.4pc, while the UK's FTSE 100 was little changed.
Five companies including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto Group traded ex-dividend yesterday, wiping more than 7.6 points off the London gauge.
"There are still some global risks out there, particularly with relation to the political situation in Europe," Guillaume Duchesne, an equity strategist at BGL BNP Paribas, said in a phone interview from Luxembourg.
"It's better to wait before buying equities."
Edenred, Danske Bank and Spanish construction company Sacyr Vallehermoso paced declining shares as investors sold stakes.
German consumer goods group Henkel rose to the highest in at least two decades after sales beat analyst forecasts.
British multinational financial services group Legal & General gained 2pc as the insurer increased its dividend payout.
Car insurance provider Admiral Group rallied 5.3pc after the owner of the confused.com website reported a 15pc increase in full-year pretax profit to £345m (€399m).