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Due to a technical problem on Wednesday Jan 16, we are upgrading the news management system by a Canadian software company, which will be completed in coming days.

It has taken longer than anticipated. That is one of the drawbacks of outsourcing. C'est la vie - even Google News updating falls behind at times!

We expect to have our upgraded news system on stream on Wednesday.

Business News Headlines to Jan 16 2008

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Click for Tuesday's stories and links from Jan 17 2008

Markets in Europe volatile on rumours of interest rate cuts - 1245 pm

European equities have been very volatile on Tuesday following another plunge in the first hour of trading

US market players as reported by the business television channel CNBC, are calling for a 0.75% interest rate cut and rumours of a coordinated interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and the Bank of England, gave heart to some investors in Europe.

The Fed may well deliver an emergency cut but it would be an absolute shock if the European Central Bank reversed its inflation stance in reaction to stockmarket movements.

In Europe Tuesday, in the first 90 minutes of trading, the Dow Jones 600 fell almost 4% as had the FTSE 100. Germany's Dax plunged almost 5% making the 2-day tumble 12%.

In Dublin, the ISEQ dropped 3% to 6,074.

By mid-morning, the FTSE 100 had risen 0.6% at 5,609.1 but the Dax remained 0.8 per cent lower at 6,731.31.

The FTSE 100 has been trading down just 0.09%; the Dax is down 1.71% and France's CAC 40 is down 0.79%.

In Dublin, the ISEQ is up 1.56%.

German bank Hypo Real Estate rose over 4% having fallen more than 40% since announcing a subprime-related CDO writedown last week.

Asia-Pacific stocks fell sharply today  following Monday's sessions when fears of a US recession spread across the region.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which tracks more than 1,050 regional stocks, slid 6.7% and the Nikkei 225 in Japan dropped 5.7%, its lowest level since September, 2005. Shares in Hong Kong plunged 8.7%, while falling stocks in India prompted a halt to trading at the Bombay Stock Exchange. The Sensex 30 index fell 5%, making the 2-day plunge a massive 12%.

In South Korea, the Kospi Composite tumbled 4% after a 3% drop Monday. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 7.1% - the largest daily percentage fall since 1989. Asia-Pacific - Key Benchmarks

In the US the futures market has been signalling a fall in the Dow of over 500 points.

National benchmarks -  Europe

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