The Irish Stock Exchange lost around 2.4 per cent of its value yesterday as the ISEQ index of Irish shares was dragged down in line with other European markets. The ISEQ closed the day at its lowest level since February as doubts about a US recovery hit European markets. More than €1.7 billion was wiped off the value of Irish shares.
Financials bore the brunt of the drop in prices yesterday, with more than 3.78 per cent wiped off their value. Bank of Ireland took a battering, losing some 4.5 per cent on the day. It dropped 55 cents to close at €12.95 on strong volumes, with more than two million shares changing hands in Dublin and three million in London. Rival AIB lost around 3 per cent, or 37 cents, to close the day at €13.90 with just under 1.5 million shares traded. Irish Life & Permanent was also hit hard, sinking by 90 cents to €15.70, while Anglo Irish Bank was 33 cents weaker at €6.67. First Active dropped 30 cents to €4.90.
Among the large stocks, CRH was the one bright spark in the market, gaining 11 cents to finish at €18.03 on modest volumes of just over 660,000 shares traded. Kerry, which had been enjoying a good run lately, shed 46 cents to close at €15.52, while Smurfit was eight cents weaker at €3.07. Low-fares airline Ryanair continued its retreat, losing 17 cents to €6.42
Elsewhere, most of the stocks suffered, although volumes were not significant in many of the second-line companies. Bucking the downward trend were Conduit, which picked up 15 cents to €2.25; Gresham Hotel Group, which was two cents up at €0.87; Alphyra, which was five cents stronger at €2.45, and IWP, which picked up three cents to €1.68.