Market loses mid-week momentum

THE ISEQ index ended the week in negative territoryyesterday, with a drop of 10.53 points to close at 2,755.85.

Markets lost some of their earlier gains, as investors took profits from the previous day’s rally.

Italian bond yields remained disappointingly high after an auction yesterday morning. Spanish unemployment rose from 20.9% to 21.5%, its highest level since the end of 1996.

In the financial sector, press reports indicate that AIB is set to sell a $600m pool of US commercial property loans to Blackstone Group and Wells Fargo for a 15%-20% loss. Shares in the bank closed up 1.7c to 9.7c. Bank of Ireland dropped 0.2c at 10.6c. Irish Life & Permanent slipped 0.1c to 3c, while FBD added 0.2c to €6.50.

In the construction sector, CRH lost 31.5c to €13.81, Grafton Group was 3c better at €2.83, while Kingspan dipped 9c to €6.33.

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