Japan: The earthquake stricken country today reported a trade deficit in April as exports dropped on supply chain disruptions.
The trade deficit was the first in the month of April in 31 years, the finance ministry. The shortfall was ¥463.7bn ($5.6bn) reversing a year-before surplus of 729.2bn.
Exports dipped 12.5% with shipments of cars plunging 67% and electronics such as computer chips dropping 19%.
First Derivatives: The Northern Ireland software and consulting company reported today that pre-tax profits for the 12 months to the end of February rose by 15% to £6.5m sterling while its revenues surged 44% to £36.7m.
The company said its software sales rose by 104% to £12.5m and the sector now accounts for 34.1% of total sales. First Derivatives said it now has revenues flowing from over 40 software customers.
Goodbody analyst, Clodagh McCarthy, commented: "Key to the strong performance in the software division, emphasised by recent deals in the Delta range, such as the Delta Stream product and its contract with ANZ and its implementation in a number of banking institutions and the Singapore Stock Exchange.
Other key products such as the Delta Algo, RDF and eFX have also continued to make progress. Another significant development in the results is the establishment of a SaaS offering, with five new data centres in the UK, US and Ireland due to capablilites acquired from the Cognotec deal. Of note, headcount increased 36% in FY11 to 524 and with the recently secured £4.3m grant from Invest Northern Ireland; the further creation of 359 jobs is planned in the next three years.
In terms of outlook, product launches are expected to continue in H1 followed by intense marketing to bring these products to market. Management notes an encouraging start to FY12 with a ‘strong pipeline of prospects’ and expects further growth in FY12.
With on-going investment into product development and consultancy and continuous expansion within the existing client base, we retain our positive stance on the company. Currently we are forecasting FY12 revenue of £44m and EBITDA of £10.7m, however, at first glance there is potential for upside to these numbers subject to further analysis and talks with management."
Glencore Listing: Norman Chan, CIO at Banyan Asset Management, says Glencore IPO has a reasonably smooth listing in the U.K. but the share price did not do too well due to the pressure in commodity:
Economic View: Irish Competitiveness - Devaluation the hard way; Goodbody
chief economist, Dermot O’Leary, comments - - "Unlike past crises, Eurozone
economies do not have the benefit of currency devaluation to aid an improvement
in international competitiveness. In the absence of such devaluation, domestic
costs in the Irish economy are reducing at an impressive pace. We detail these
developments in our note this morning.
Exports grew by 10.6% yoy in Q4 2010, while net exports are contributing strongly to growth. The turnaround in the current a/c from a deficit of 5.6% in 2008 to an expected surplus this year is another clear signal of the improvement in Ireland’s external competitiveness, unlike other economies facing similar challenges."
Second release of UK GDP growth in Q1 to show weak domestic demand: Davy economist, Conall Mac Coille, comments -- "The second release of UK GDP growth in the first quarter of 2011 is published at 09.30 today. In the preliminary release, growth was estimated to equal 0.5% in the first quarter, bouncing back from the 0.5% decline in Q4 but leaving overall economic activity flat over the six-month period.
Construction output is now estimated to have declined by 4.0% in Q1, an upwards revision to the 4.7% indicated in the preliminary release. The upwards revisions to the construction sector data will help to push up the second release of the Q1 GDP data published today. Industrial production is now estimated to have been a little stronger in Q1 than the data incorporated into the preliminary release. So the manufacturing sector's contribution to GDP growth in Q1 may also be revised up marginally.
However, any small upwards revision should not cloud the fact that underlying activity in the UK economy remains weak over the past two quarters. Today's release provides the first breakdown of spending in the first quarter. Consumer spending is expected to rise by just 0.1% on the quarter, bouncing back from the 0.3% decline in Q4 but remaining weak. In recent months, UK consumer confidence has continued to decline to similar levels as those seen during the worst of the financial crisis as the negative impact on real incomes from tax rises and weak nominal pay has hit consumers.
Investment spending is expected to rise by 1.0%, failing to fully offset the 1.8% decline in Q4. The bright spot is that the net trade contribution should be positive. In the main, however, it reflects a 0.7% decline in imports, indicative of weak domestic demand. In summary, although there may be a small upwards revision to overall GDP growth in Q1, the contributions to growth from spending are likely to underline the fragile prospects for UK economic growth in 2011."
'Made in America' Still Selling? Karen Mills, administrator at the Small Business Association told CNBC small businesses are selling a host of products overseas. "The bottom line is that these people are manufacturing here in America and there is demand for their products all around the world," she said:
In New York Tuesday, the Dow fell 25 points or 0.20% to 12,356.
The S&P 500 slid 0.08% and the Nasdaq slipped 0.46%.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped 0.8% Wednesday.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.57%; China's Shanghai composite index dipped 0.91%; Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.95% and the Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex index declined 1.05% in Mumbai.
In Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 has dipped 0.46% in early trading Wednesday.
The ISEQ is off 0.17% in Dublin.
CRH is down 1.22%; Elan has risen 2.79%; Glanbia advanced 1.27%.
The euro is trading at $1.4035 and at £0.8688.
For live currency updates, check the right-hand column of the Finfacts home page.
The US dollar fell to $1.6038 per euro on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - an-all time record.
The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for dry commodities, hit an all-time High of 11,771 on the 21st of May, 2008. From that time it reversed and on the 5th of December, 2008 it hit a low of 663 - - close to a 1986 low.
The BDI closed at 3,005 on Thursday, Dec 31st - - a rise of 289% in 2009. The index averaged 59% lower in 2009 than a year earlier.
On Thursday, July 15, 2010, the index fell for the 35th straight session, by 9 points, or 0.537%, to 1,700 points, Bloomberg report.
On Friday July16th, the BDI rose 20 points or 1.12% to 1,700 to break the 35-session losing streak.
On Tuesday this week, the BDI climbed 29 points or 2.12% to 1,398.
The Financial Times reported
earlier in January, that Australia’s flooding and fears of ship oversupply has
pushed down a gauge of the cost of hiring ships to carry coal, iron ore and
other dry bulk by nearly half since October to the lowest level since the
aftermath of the financial crisis. The Baltic Dry index, the widely watched
measure of dry bulk charter rates, fell to 1,453, nearly half the 2,784 peak
reached on October 27, 2010.
margin between the US benchmark WTI (West Texas Intermediate) used on the New
York Mercantile Exchange and Brent is almost $13.
The spot price of an oz of gold is trading in New York at $1,524.00, down $2.10 from Tuesday's close.
Financials: New banking sector legislation to introduce levy; Goodbody's Eamonn Hughes
comments - - "The Irish government yesterday published the Central Bank and Credit
Institutions (Resolution) (No 2) Bill 2011 yesterday. The bill is a permanent
replacement for emergency legislation introduced last year and, according to the
Minister for Finance, will help ensure the Central Bank has the necessary
procedures in place to effectively resolve distressed institutions. It is
claimed the bill reflects evolving EU frameworks on this process and will apply
to banks, but also to building societies and credit unions.
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