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BUSINESS NEWS JAN 17, 2008
Due to a technical problem on Wednesday Jan 16, we are upgrading the news management system which will be completed in coming days.

Business News Headlines to Jan 16 2008

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Jan 17 2008 News Links

Markets News Afternoon: US and European stocks slide; Dublin market rises

Annual Irish Consumer Inflation falls to 4.7% in December 2007

Euribor 3-Month Inter-Bank Rate falls to the lowest level since the onset of the Credit Crunch in August 2007

European Central Bank warns again that it may raise interest rates

Slashing Energy Waste in China - Energy efficiency would do 'the most, the quickest,' to reduce CO2 emissions - World Bank

Study links corporate performance to employee enablement - Economist Intelligence Unit

Markets News Thursday: Asia-Pacific and European stocks rise

Thursday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories

Big drugs companies raided by European competition regulators

Markets News Thursday: Asia-Pacific and European stocks rise

On Wednesday in New York, a rise in sell orders pushed the markets down again amidst continuing economic worries.

The Energy Information Administration of the US Energy Department, earlier Wednesday reported a rise in crude inventories that was seen as reflecting a slowing in economic activity.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 34.95 points, or 0.3%, at 12466.16, off 6% on the year.

Among Dow components, chipmaker Intel fell 12.4% after reporting a cautious outlook for 2008, reported after the market closing on Tuesday.

Banking group J.P. Morgan Chase rose 5.8% after it announced a big fall in fourth-quarter profits but assured investors that it has no hidden surprises on the subprime related front. Oil giant Exxon Mobil fell  2.8% in response to the fall in crude prices.

The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 0.6%, or 7.75 points, at 1373.20.

Software giant Oracle's $8.5 billion acquisition of BEA Systems, resulted in BEA surging 18.5% and Oracle rose 2.9%. The tech-dominant Nasdaq Composite Index lost 1%, or 23.00 points, to end at 2394.59.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that US developer Ian Bruce Eichner's default on a $760 million loan for a Las Vegas casino-resort project highlights how the credit crunch, which undermined residential borrowers' bids to refinance loans, is extending to real-estate projects in the commercial sector.

Asia-Pacific stocks rose Thursday after Merrill Lynch raised its rating on Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co. and Swiss bank UBS AG said a fall in Japanese property companies, was overdone.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which tracks more than 1,050 regional companies, rose 1.2% and Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 2.1%. However, China's CSI 300 Index fell 2.5%, led by China Construction Bank Corp., after the People's Bank of China again raised  the amount of funds banks have to set aside in reserves. Asia-Pacific - Key Benchmarks

European stocks have risen strongly in early trading Thursday. In Dublin, the ISEQ has risen more than 1.60%.

National benchmarks -  Europe

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Rates

AIB Daily Report

Bank of Ireland Daily Report

Currencies

The euro is trading at $1.4616 and at £0.7446.

The Financial Times reports that the euro slid sharply on Wednesday after investors bet comments by a European Central Bank council member meant eurozone rate cuts were more likely.

Stocks (Million Barrels)
Stock Price Graphs.
Stocks Change From Last
01/11/08 Week Year
Crude Oil 287.1 values are up4.3 values are down-34.4
Gasoline 215.3 values are up2.2 values are down-1.5
Distillate 129.8 values are up1.1 values are down-12.1
Propane 48.668 values are down-2.555 values are down-8.860

Yves Mersch, Luxembourg’s central bank governor, said the ECB should “be cautious” amid the widespread economic uncertainty and hinted that eurozone growth forecasts might soon have to be revised downwards.

Mr Mersch represents one of the eurozone’s smallest states, but he is regarded as one of the more hawkish members of the 21-strong ECB council. His comments in a Bloomberg interview suggest at least some bank members are moderating their tone as the US Federal Reserve prepares to cut interest rates.

Earlier, Axel Weber, president of the Bundesbank, also appeared to be hedging his usually hawkish stance. He acknowledged that German inflation could have eased significantly by 2009.

For live currency updates, check the right-hand column of the Finfacts home page

Commodities

Crude oil for February delivery is trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) at $91.45 per barrel - up 61 cents overnight. In London, Brent is trading on the International Commodities Exchange at $90.24 down 74 cents.

Paul J. Harris, Head of Natural Resources Risk Management, Bank of Ireland Global Markets, commented today:

Bearish factors prevailed yesterday with the release of better-than-expected EIA data. The numbers showed a large build in crude stocks - up 4.3mio barrels versus a consensus forecast of 600,000. Distillates also rose. In addition IEA forecasts suggested that global demand growth would be 1.98mio bpd, some 130k bpd less than the last estimate. Positive noises from the Saudis about prospects for a boost to supply in the wake of President Bushs visit to the region also added a positive tone to the markets. Brent crude sank to $89.75 with WTI at $90.84 after a volatile session.

The fall in oil prices is set to peter out towards the end of the week with a modicum of recovery anticipated on foot of short-covering. Whilst the dip in oil prices in Q12008 has been well-flagged, the magnitude of the fall is difficult to assess given the supportive geopolitical risks that currently weigh on the market. The price action is likely to remain within the $85-95 band until clarity regarding oil supply is delivered at the Feb 1 OPEC meeting.

On the Brent market today $89.40 represents support on the downside with perceived difficulty in advancing much beyond $91.80

Gold spot price

The spot price of gold is at $888 per ounce, down 90 cents overnight. .

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