THE Dublin market followed global stock exchanges downwards last week, dropping almost 4% to close on Friday at 7,298.41, with the biggest sell-offs coming on Thursday and Friday as investors fretted over the geopolitical crisis in the Middle East.

Stocks were hit across the board, with CRH losing 1.90 to 25.30, Irish Life & Permanent slipping 77c to 17.35 and Kerry giving up 41c to 15.90.

C&C was one of the few stocks to buck the trend, gaining 9c in the week to "nish on 7.47. The strong showing followed earnings upgrades on Monday as brokers reacted to the previous week's bullish update at its annual general meeting, which disclosed revenues and pro"ts "significantly" ahead of expectations.

Speculation about a possible takeover approach from property magnate Liam Carroll continued to drive demand for Greencore, which climbed to 4.25 by Tuesday evening.

But most of the gains were given up after agriculture minister Mary Coughlan announced on Wednesday that the food group should only get 98m from an EU sugar beet compensation package, considerably less than the 124m booked in the interim results issued on 7 June.

AIB's shares traded higher ahead of Wednesday's second-quarter earnings from US associate, M&T Bank, in which AIB holds a 23% stake.

The Buffalo, New York-based bank reported results ahead of expectations, helping AIB's shares touch 19 before slipping back to finish the week at 17.63.

Builders' merchant Grafton disappointed investors with a downbeat trading statement on Friday reporting weak DIY sales in the UK.

The news helped wipe out early gains and the stock lost 29c on the week to finish at 10.10.

Shares in Abbey dropped more than 1 to 8.50 on Thursday after the house builder reported an 18% drop in earnings for the year to April despite building more houses in the UK, its biggest market. The market's other quoted house builder, McInerney, was caught in the tailspin, ending the week at 11.

Shares in Irish Estates, which have gained 66% since coming to the market in September, gained 35c to "nish the week at 3.35 after the property management company announced that it had bought "ve removal-related companies. The transaction, valued at up to 14m, is being paid for in a mixture of cash and shares.

Drugs company Amarin, founded by former Elan "nance boss Tom Lynch and backed by billionaire financier Dermot Desmond, began trading in Dublin on Tuesday, making it the first Nasdaq stock to list on the exchange's secondary IEX market.

The shares opened at 2.05, valuing the company at around 170m.

By pricing the shares to go, Standard Life got off to a strong start when trading opened in London on Monday, with the insurance giant's shares gaining 12.5p on the day. The low issue price of 230p, at the very bottom end of expectations, squeezed the windfalls of customers who quali"ed for free shares, including 94,000 people in Ireland.

But it was good news for the 300,000 customers and staff who were able to buy shares at a special discounted price of 218.5p a share, giving them a 20.5p gain on the week.