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The initial plume from Grímsvötn was higher than that in April and May 2010 from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which only reached 8 kilometers (5 miles). Despite its taller plume, Grímsvötn was expected to hamper trans-Atlantic air traffic less than Eyjafjallajökull had, at least in the first 24 hours. Grímsvötn’s ash was initially forecast to travel toward the northeast, the Icelandic Met Office stated. In addition, the ash content was coarser and therefore less likely to remain airborne long enough to reach European airspace.
The Irish Aviation Authority has announced that said all Irish airports would remain open Wednesday. However, because of restrictions in other European countries, a small number of flights are expected to be affected. Last night, the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in London said it was likely the ash cloud could affect parts of Denmark, southern Norway and southwest Sweden today, with possible disruption to flights in to and out of these countries.
In northern Germany, Hamburg and Bremen airports cancelled flights and German aviation authorities said Berlin terminals could also face closure. Image: NASA's MODIS Rapid Response System.
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
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
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
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.
The broadest measure of this internal devaluation is unit labour costs: these
have fallen by 9% relative to the rest of the euro-zone in the 2009/2010 period
and are expected to decline by a further 4% in 2011/2012. Property costs were
another major impediment in the boom years but these have now totally reversed.
The arrival of the IMF/EU programme in Ireland in December and the crises over
recent years has done some damage to Ireland’s reputation but the work of the
IDA in particular has ensured that the impact on prospective inward FDI has been
minimised. Many considerations come into the decision-making process for
multi-national firms, but the uncertainty about Ireland’s corporation tax rate
is not helpful and must be concluded soon.
Without large currency devaluation, the export-led recovery in Ireland is
unlikely to be a V-shaped one similar to that enjoyed in Scandinavia in the
early 1990s. However, improvements in competitiveness have already started to
yield tangible benefits for the Irish economy, with the number of foreign direct
investment projects increasing by 18% in 2010, while over twenty separate
investments have been announced already by the IDA in 2011 thus far.
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%.
MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped 0.8% Wednesday.
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.
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.
Thursday, July 15, 2010, the index fell for the 35th straight session, by 9
points, or 0.537%, to 1,700 points,
On Friday July16th, the BDI rose 20
points or 1.12% to 1,700 to break the 35-session losing streak.
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.
said in early February that a surge in oil inventories in Cushing, Oklahoma,
where WTI is delivered into America’s pipeline system, has depressed the value
of the benchmark against other yardsticks. The
International Energy Agency said on Thursday that with “few relief valves” to
cut the stock overhang in Cushing, the price dislocation “may persist for months
[or years] to come”.
spot price of an oz of gold is trading in New York at $1,524.00, down $2.10 from
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.
The process of dealing with banks in difficulty in the future puts more powers
in the hands of the Central Bank, however, of relevance in the current
environment is the creation of powers for the introduction of a bank levy in the
context of setting up a bank resolution fund. The bill gives the Minister powers
to set the rate with due consideration with the need for the Fund to grow over
time to a size commensurate to the costs that might be incurred in carrying out
resolution activities and the need for the rate to be consistent with
maintaining the financial viability and sustaining the commercial position of
such credit institutions.
A levy on the banks will impact on returns and capital generated. In our recent
BOI note, we valued BOI two ways, NAV based and on a “franchise value” metric,
based on anticipated normalised profits (i.e. when it achieves a 13.5% ROE). In
our note, we suggested that investors are likely to aspire to the latter but
rely on the former, a view we think supplemented by the likelihood of a levy
which may have implications on the timing of when banks get to normalised
earnings. In the case of BOI, we suggested a 2015/2016 timeline and a levy on
the banks adds weight to the latter timeline."