International
Markets News Afternoon: Japan hit by quake on anniversary of March disaster; Americans to cheat as much as $300bn in unpaid taxes this year
By Finfacts Team
Apr 11, 2011 - 5:04 PM

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Today, the NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland), launched the new web based National Enquiry Portal; this initiative ‘Your Standards, Your Say’, is making vital information on standards in development easily accessible and, giving business and the public a chance to have their say on standards prior to them being finalised at www.nsai.ie/yourstandardsyoursay.

In picture, Mark Fielding, CEO, ISME (Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association), SFA Director, Patricia Callan and Maurice Buckley, CEO, NSAI.

US Taxes: This year Americans are likely to cheat as much as $300bn, or nearly 15% of federal revenues, according to Stuart P. Green, a professor of law at Rutgers Law School-Newark. All told, as many as 30 to 40% of Americans won’t pay all of the taxes they owe.

Japan: Japan today widened its quarantine zone around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant and the operator said it had halted the discharge of low-level radioactive water into the sea that had prompted complaints from neighbouring China and South Korea.

Tokyo Electric Power Co, TEPCO, said 10,400 tonnes of low-level radioactive water, left by the tsunami, had been pumped back into the sea in order to free up storage capacity for highly contaminated water from the reactors.

On Monday, shortly after Japan marked one month since a March 11 earthquake and tsunami, a huge aftershock with an initial magnitude of 7.1 measured by the US Geological Survey, which later revised it downward to 6.6, shook eastern Japan, killing two people, and cutting power to 220,000 households.

Primark: Department store group Primark announced today the opening of three new stores this week, two in Portugal and one in Spain, bringing the number of Primark stores to 219, including 30 in continental Europe and increasing their retail space to 6.9 million square feet.

In Portugal, a store will open tomorrow in Forum Sintra, a new shopping centre in the suburb of Lisbon. The store has 204 employees and covers a retail area of 30,900 square feet. A second store will open on Thursday in the new Aqua Portimao shopping centre on the Algarve, employing 197 people and covering 32,200 square feet.

The new store in Spain, which will also open on Thursday, is located in La Coruña, Marineda City. Employing 189 people, the store covers an area of 45,700 square feet and brings the number of stores in Spain to 20.

Commenting on the new store openings Primark said, “We are delighted to add three more stores to our rapidly expanding portfolio of outlets across Europe. By the end of this week, there will be 219 Primark stores in seven countries - - UK, Republic of Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany and Belgium - - cementing Primark’s position as Europe’s leading fashion value retailer”.

"This is a much more moderate way of actually dealing with the issue of splitting investment banking issues from retail banking," Chris Wheeler, banking analyst at Mediobanco told CNBC following a recommendation by the UK's Independent Commission on Banking that retail operations should be ring-fenced from investment banking arms:

US Markets

In New York Monday, the Dow rose 37 points or 0.30% to 12,417.

The S&P 500 climbed 0.04% and the Nasdaq slipped 0.25%.

Live US Indices

European Markets

The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 has dipped 0.17% Monday.

In Dublin the ISEQ has declined 1.16%.

CRH is down 2.35%; Elan is off 0.87%; AIB has slid 10.71% and BoI has slipped 9.80%; IL&P has climbed 3.70%.

European benchmarks

Irish share prices

Euribor Interest Rates

Commodities

Crude oil for May delivery is currently trading on the Chicago York Mercantile Exchange (CME/Nymex) at $111.38 per barrel down $1.41 from Friday's close. In London, Brent for May delivery is trading on the International Commodities Exchange at $125.29.

Currencies

The euro is trading at $1.448 and at £0.8821.

Gold

Gold is trading at $1.466.30 per oz in New York.

The Finfacts Gold Page

“If the US were a European country, it would be calling for a bailout right now,” Nick Parsons, head of strategy at National Australia Bank told CNBC about the US deficit, adding, “the debt GDP is higher than Portugal’s, the deficit GDP ratio is higher than Portugal’s":


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