Banks hit as Irish shares fall 2%

IRISH shares lost more ground yesterday, falling just over 2%, with CRH, airlines and banks hit.

Banks hit as Irish shares fall 2%

CRH tumbled the most in more than a year after first-half earnings and sales fell more than previously forecast. It shed 6% of its value yesterday, closing at €16.07.

July has been a turbulent month for Irish shares. At the start of the month they plunged to their lowest level in more than a year.

AIB lost 1% yesterday, closing at 93 cent, and Irish Life and Permanent dropped 2.5% to €1.54. Bank of Ireland gained ground however, closing up just over 1% to 66 cent.

The airlines were also hit. Ryanair fell 0.5% to €3.75 while Aer Lingus, which yesterday reported disappointing passenger figures, fell 3.7% to 80 cent.

It was not such a bad day for British stocks yesterday, with the FTSE all share index climbing 0.7%. However the FTSE 100 has tumbled 14% from its high this year on April 15 amid concern that economic growth will be curbed by austerity measures from European governments cutting their budget deficits and disappointing economic reports in the US and China.

“The concerns over worsening deficit balances continue to weigh heavily on markets,” said Richard Hunter, the head of UK equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers.

“This has flattened sentiment. The risk of tightening monetary policy in conjunction with fiscal policy too early is one of choking off the economic recovery.”

Across Europe stocks advanced for a second day.

National benchmark indexes rose in 16 of the 18 western European markets. Germany’s DAX climbed 0.8% and France’s CAC 40 advanced 1.5%.

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