Markets News Afternoon: Sarkozy supports Italy's Mario Draghi for ECB presidency; Ford reports 22% surge in quarterly earnings
By Finfacts Team
Apr 26, 2011 - 4:22 PM

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Mario Draghi, governor of Banca d'Italia and Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, at a meeting of the ECB governing council, Vienna, Oct 2009.

ECB: Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, today threw his support behind Mario Draghi, the governor of Banca d'Italia, to succeed Jean-Claude Trichet, as president of the European Central Bank from November 1 next.

A summit of the 17 Eurozone leaders will make the final decision on the appointment in June.

Axel Weber, who is due to retire as president of the Bundesbank this week, had been the frontrunner.

"We support the candidature of Mario Draghi," Sarkozy said at a joint news conference with Silvio Berlusconi, Italian prime minister, in Rome. "We support him because he is a person of quality," he added.

Draghi (born Sept, 1947) heads the Financial Stability Board, which is a committee of central bankers from G-20 countries, which is seeking to develop frameworks on improved global banking rules.

A former economics professor and investment banker at Goldman Sachs, Draghi was named governor of the Banca d'Italia in 2005.

He has a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and he will serve one 8-year term if selected.

US: Ford Motor Co. the second-biggest US carmaker, said today that first-quarter profit rose 22% to the highest level for the period since 1998 as it gained higher prices for fuel- efficient new models.

Net income rose to $2.55bn from $2.09b a year earlier, Ford said. Excluding some items, earnings were 62 cents a share. Sales revenues rose 4.7% to $33.1bn after last year’s sale of Volvo cars.

The company said buyers were favouring smaller, greener cars in response to rising gas prices. This week unleaded gasoline averaged $3.87 a gallon in the US, up from $2.85 a year ago.

US consumers paid an average of $31,508 for Ford models in the first quarter, up 3.9% from $30,319 in 2010, according to car analyst

Besides Ford's results, UPS, the world’s biggest package-delivery company, added 1% after also raising its earnings forecast. 3M, the maker of products including Scotch tape and Post-it Notes, climbed 1.5%. AK Steel Holding Corp. (AKS), America's third-largest producer of the metal by 2010 volume, jumped 4.3% after posting a surprising profit

The S&P 500 climbed 0.9% to 1,347 - - above,1345.63, the highest level of the bull market that began in March 2009. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 103 points, or 0.83% to 12,583 - - an almost three-year high.

US economic news:

US Consumer Confidence Index improved slightly in April

US Case-Shiller home prices fall for 8th straight month in February

Italy's Exporting Market: "It's clearly that Germany is our main export partner," Claudia Serge, general secretary of Assiom Forex told CNBC on Italy's export market:

100 Jobs: Jobs losses are seldom formally announced and today two announcements of up to 100 new jobs were made.

50 jobs are planned in Galway by US-owned software company NEI.

In Dublin, delivery company Nightline says it will add 50 jobs in Dublin when a planned expansion is completed.

NEI is establishing its operation in Galway to meet demand in the European market.

The 50 jobs are in manufacturing and technology support.

Founded in 1997, NEI is headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts, and employs around 250 people worldwide.

US Markets

In New York Tuesday, the Dow jumped 103 points or 0.83% to 12,583.

The S&P 500 advanced 0.92% and the Nasdaq rose 0.90%.

Live US Indices

It's the Economy: "Our favourite month is July, purely because we have the bank stress tests being released in June," David Owen, chief european economist at Jeffries International told CNBC on when the European Central Bank is likely to raise rates:


European Markets

The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 has risen 0.31% Tuesday.

In Dublin the ISEQ climbed 0.92%.

CRH is up 0.49%; Elan has risen  5.29%; AIB has added 11.63% and BoI has climbed 3.29%; IL&P advanced 5.29%.

European benchmarks

Irish share prices

Euribor Interest Rates


Crude oil for June delivery is currently trading on the Chicago York Mercantile Exchange (CME/Nymex) at $112.10 per barrel down 18 cents from Monday's close. In London, Brent for June delivery is trading on the International Commodities Exchange at $123.93.


The euro is trading at $1.4623 and at £0.8882


Gold is trading at $1,498.40 per oz in New York.

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