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Financial Winners & Losers: AIG, Citigroup

The financial sector was mostly lower in the wake of the weak housing market data, and shares of both Citigroup and Wells Fargo dipped after the companies repaid TARP funds.

(Updated for closing prices)

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

American International Group

(AIG) - Get Report

and

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

were among the biggest financial losers on Wednesday, when a worse-than-expected decline in new-home sales set off new market jitters.

AIG shares declined 5.3%, or $1.64, to $29.41 at the close on Wednesday. It was a one-day reversal of fortune for AIG, which on Tuesday soared more than 10% after it decided not to spin-off its Chartis property-casualty unit.

While AIG is sticking with Chartis as a core holding, the company completed the sale of an Israeli insurance affiliate, EMI, to Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services for $35.5 million on Wednesday.

Citigroup shares were down 1.5%, or 5 cents, to $3.29 on Wednesday. For the second consecutive day, the bank denied reports that the FBI was looking into a reported breach of Citigroup's computer systems, and the theft of millions of dollars, by a Russian cyber-gang. Wednesday was also notable for Citi as it paid back $20 billion worth of TARP funds.

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

also completed its TARP repayment on Wednesday. Its shares fell 1.1%, or 31 cents, to $26.85.

Another financial loser on Wednesday were shares of

Fortress Investment Group

, down 3%, or 14 cents, to $4.53. Fortress portfolio company

Intrawest

, a Canadian ski-resort operator, is facing default on loan payments due Wednesday and is in talks with lenders for another extension.

The biggest winners among the financials Wednesday were shares of

Allied Irish Banks

TST Recommends

(AIB)

and

Bank of Ireland

(IRE)

. Allied shares were up 7.6%, or 26 cents, to $3.70, while Bank of Ireland advanced 6%, or 46 cents, to $8.08.

On Tuesday, Allied's chief executive said the bank would need to raise additional capital or would require additional government funding in 2010. Its shares sank by more than 7%, but that decline was offset by Wednesday's gain.

Shares of both banks were trading at elevated volumes, with Allied at more than triple its average turnover, and Bank of Ireland trading double its average volume.

Among the big U.S. banks, shares were marginally negative on the weaker housing news. The housing slump seemed to more than offset the stronger numbers in U.S. personal income and spending also reported on Wednesday, even if the broader equity markets finished slightly ahead on Wednesday.

Goldman Sachs'

(GS) - Get Report

stock was down 0.6%, or 97 cents, to $163.63.

JP Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report

was down 0.9%, or 38 cents, to $41.56.

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

, meanwhile, was down 0.9%, or 14 cents to $15.19.

-Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.

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