Techs hurt as US omens give market the jitters


Warnings of a rapid slowdown in the US economy caused turmoil on international markets yesterday, sending the ISEQ down 2.5 per cent at 5,605.35.

Technology stocks suffered the worst of the beating. Iona shed €7.87 to close at €69.13. Datalex dropped 10 cents to close at €6.20 and ITG shed five cents to close at €7.35.

Although news of Eircom's deal with Vodafone is expected shortly, the share failed to respond yesterday and remained stuck at €2.85. One analyst said people were probably becoming impatient with the delay.

Jefferson Smurfit was weaker despite announcing a €54.8 million acquisition in Austria. This was compounded, however, by a profit warning from the group's rival International Paper. The stock closed down 14 cents at €1.96.

Among the financials, AIB was the major loser on the day shedding 40 cents to close at €12.30. Bank of Ireland remained firm on €9.50 while Anglo Irish Bank shed seven cents to close at €3.03.

Ryanair lost some of its recent gains shedding 62 cents to close at €11 while, on the other hand, Grafton bucked the trend by adding 50 cents to close at €23.

Drug maker Elan lost €3.93 to close at €52.05 and Trinity Biotech lost 20 cents to close at €2.90 following its $9.3 million acquisition of the US-based diagnostics manufacturer Bartels this week.

As the Irish market closed, the Nasdaq was down more than 6 per cent as nervous investors continued to flee the technology sector. Of the Irish stocks, Trintech was performing well up 1 per cent at $11.25 while Riverdeep was down 3 per cent at $19.50.