WARNING ON INTEREST RATES COMPLACENCY - The recent fluctuations in the yen and the dollar have been stealing all the headlines, so much so that they have been masking a slow creep in sterling versus the euro. And money is leaking out of the economy as those moves mean that sales in sterling are worth 5% less now than they were this time last year.
John Finn, of Treasury Solutions, says that sterling averaged about 81 pence against the euro for much of last year, while it has been 85 pence so far this year. This means that Irish companies who export to the UK are down millions of euro in profit, which means they have less money for expansion and new jobs. Mr Finn says that hedging can ease some this pain and companies can hedge for up to 12 months. But he says that for this to work properly, companies need more engagement with their banks and need to keep it simple. On Japan, the analyst says that the yen has seen huge movements in recent months, with a 30% drop in receipts year on year. He warns that businesses can not take this sort of hit.
Mr Finn says that the ECB's base rate is set to stay at record lows of 0.5% for the rest of the year and into next year. He says while this is good news for those on tracker mortgages, it is not so good for those with deposits in banks. He notes that long term rates have begun to creep higher, adding that people can not afford to become complacent with the low interest rate environment.
MORNING BRIEFS - The Financial Times Stock Exchange has announced that following a scheduled review DCC will be added to the FTSE 250 index series. The review also sees the promotion of Travis Perkins and Persimmon to the FTSE 100 index. The announced changes will be applied after the close of business on Friday next week.
*** ''Brazen and deeply unconvincing'' is how a House of Commons committee finds Google's claims that its Irish operation is responsible for hundreds of millions of pounds in advertising sales in the UK. In a report published today, the House of Commons' public accounts committee says the company's defence has been undermined by whistleblowers and reporters. The report follows complaints about the tax paid by multinationals operating in Britain. Google, which has had UK revenues of £12 billion since 2006, claimed its UK-based staff were not responsible for selling.
*** Sales growth at Inditex - the world's biggest clothes retailer by sales and owner of Zara - slowed in the first three months of its financial year, held back by poor weather in Europe and because figures for last year were quite high by comparison. The Spanish group - which also owns Pull and Bear, Massimo Dutti and Bershka - said that earnings before interest and tax in the three months to the end of April fell 3.1% year on year to €548m, its worst performance since the start of 2009. Sales in the first quarter rose to €3.59 billion. Analysts had expected that poor weather in Europe in the period, and adverse currency movements, would take their toll on earnings. Inditex is majority owned by founder Amancio Ortega, who was this year ranked as the world's third-richest man by Forbes.
*** IT company EMC is creating 200 jobs in Cork. The company has had operations in Cork since 1988 and already employs 3,000 staff there.
*** The World Bank has cut its growth forecast for China. It says it expects China to grow by 7.7% in 2013, down from its earlier projection of 8.4%. It also cut the forecast for global economic growth to 2.2% from 2.4%. The bank said growth in China, the world's second-biggest economy, had slowed as policymakers look to rebalance its growth model. A slowdown in key markets such as the US and Europe has seen a decline in demand for Chinese exports, prompting concerns whether China can sustain its high growth rate.