European markets by and large made more modest gains yesterday but eroded earlier advances as new German data showed its exports declined more than had been anticipated.
The subdued performance followed a more robust display on Monday when German figures showed that industrial production had risen more than forecast.
German exports fell in February more than economists had expected. Overseas shipments, adjusted for working days and seasonal changes, dropped 1.5pc from January, when they gained 1.3pc, according to the Federal Statistics Office. Economists had forecast a 0.3pc decline.
"In the short term, we're wondering about a possible setback," said Kevin Gardiner, head of investment strategy for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Barclays wealth-management unit in London. "The big conviction we have is that if there's a setback, it's probably an opportunity to move into the market than run away from it."
In the UK, manufacturing output accelerated 0.8pc in February compared with January, when it fell 1.9pc. Economists had expected about a 0.4pc gain in February.
The ISEQ Overall Index managed to stay with the posse yesterday, having dipped into the red on Monday as other indices advanced. It advanced 24.29 points, or 0.64pc, to finish the day at 3,814.58.
Shares in Kenmare Resources were among the gainers as other mining stocks also gained. It added 5.8pc, or 1.9 cent, to finish at 34.8 cent.
Ryanair added 2.2pc, or nearly 13 cent, to end the session at €5.82, while Bank of Ireland advanced 2.5pc to 16 cent.
Shares in gambling firm Paddy Power added 1pc, or 70 cent, to €66.90, while packaging group Smurfit Kappa rose just under 2pc, or 23 cent, to €11.91.
C&C slid nearly 3pc to €4.81, while Origin Enterprises declined 3.6pc, or 19 cent, to €5.11, eroding some of the 6.6pc gain it made on Monday.
National benchmark indices climbed in 13 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 rose 0.5pc, France's CAC 40 slipped 0.1pc, while Germany's DAX fell 0.6pc.
Lagardere slipped 2.7pc to €27.75 after the Paris-based media company sold a 7.4pc stake in Airbus owner EADS for about €2.3bn. EADS slid 2.8pc to €37.63.
Adecco, the biggest supplier of temporary workers, retreated 1.9pc to 49.45 Swiss francs. Credit Suisse downgraded the shares to neutral from outperform, citing a slowdown in the US and challenging market conditions in Europe.
Mining stocks gained, with BHP adding 3.5pc to 1,944 pence and Rio Tinto jumping 5pc to 3,140.5 pence as copper prices rose 2pc in London. Kazakhmys climbed 5.4pc to 392.6 pence.