Concerns on Greece hit markets

THE Irish market fell yesterday in line with most of the major European bourses, as concerns over Greek and other country’s sovereign debt spread.

However, US unemployment figures announced in the afternoon did manage to stabilise markets and even kickstart a rally. The unemployment rate was unexpectedly down to 9.7%, while data showed 20,000 jobs had been lost in January, compared to the consensus expectation that 5,000 net jobs would be created. The ISEQ index fell 49.75 points to 2,901.55.

The Irish banks were mixed on the day as AIB dropped 5.5c to €1.09. Bank of Ireland followed suit slipping 3c to €1.19. Irish Life and Permanent, however, gained 9.4c to €3.10.

Construction stocks were equally as unpredictable with heavyweight CRH shedding 58c to €16.82, with Kingspan Group also giving up 25c to €5.85. Grafton was the only bright spot, moving on 2.5c to €2.60.


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