Dublin market closes lower


Equity market investors experienced an anxious trading session waiting for the results of European bank stress tests today, with speculators taking the view ahead of the announcement of the results that they might reveal insufficient levels of capital in the banking system.

Strong earnings from Google and Citigroup were also not enough to dissipate tension relating to the US economy, with early gains subsiding after the release of weak US consumer sentiment and manufacturing data. Over the course of the week, European stocks posted their biggest drop since March.

The Iseq rounded off the week with a 1 per cent drop today. Among the main stocks, paper and packaging group Smurfit Kappa was the biggest faller, plunging 8.75 per cent to €7.30, down 70 cent on the previous day, following the release of data indicating negative pricing trends in the containerboard market. Independent News & Media also went into reverse, ending the day down 6.6 per cent at 38 cent, while drinks group C&C fell 2 cent to €3.51.

Elan dropped 2.9 per cent to €8.39. Data on its drug Tysabri shows there were 12 new cases of brain condition PML confirmed last month among patients taking the drug, bringing the total number of cases to 145.

Food group Kerry was one of the main climbers, as investors reacted positively to a confirmation from the company that it was in exclusive discussions with Cargill to buy its global flavours business. It advanced almost 2 per cent to €29.30, a rise of 55 cent.

Distribution group DCC fell back 2.3 per cent to €19, down 45 cent, on a day when it held its agm, at which it said full-year operating profit and adjusted earnings per share may be "modestly" down on last year due to falling levels of trade at its energy unit.

On the bond markets, the yield on Irish 10-year debt increased by 13 basis points to 14.04 per cent, while the yield on two-year Irish bonds rose to 23.11 per cent, up 1.8 per cent.