Morning business news - April 10Thursday 10 April 2014 10.50
Stock markets bounced back overnight after the US Federal Reserve released the minutes of its last monthly meeting which appeared to convince investors that interest rates would not be going up any time soon. Tech stocks, which have taken quite a hit recently, also rallied last night.
Mark Murnane, Head of Trading with Shelbourne Markets, said the minutes went a long way to calm markets that were spooked by Janet Yellen's comments after her first meeting as Fed chair. "Ms Yellen said the slowdown of stimulus was likely to end in autumn and rates might rise within six months. Markets hadn't anticipated an interest rate increase within that timeframe and Stocks started positioning themselves," he explained.
"Last night's minutes calmed fears as they appeared to suggest that the Fed was keen to downplay the likelihood of interest rate hikes in the short term and it further suggested that if it does occur, further hikes might be slow," Mr Murnane said.
The bounceback by technology stocks came almost a week after they had taken a huge hit with some suggesting that they were over-valued. "Tech stocks have been the darlings of the market for about a year. Recently the Nasdaq hit a high, but up to yesterday's rally they'd been down 5%. This is probably people repositioning portfolios as well as making the move away from momentum stocks. Investors are looking at more value based stocks," he said.
Mark Murnane said it could be an indicator of a deeper malaise in the markets, but there was little to suggest that it would be long lasting. "There are still a lot of things overhanging the market. We saw some poor Chinese data as well as worries over Ukraine and interest rate rises. But markets have bounced very strongly and we might be back on the bull run," he concluded.
MORNING BRIEFS - Property Investment company, Irish Residential Properties REIT, has announced that Donal Kellegher will be its new chief investment officer. He is moving there from NAMA where he was a senior property advisor. He will take up the position in two months time.
*** Bank of America has agreed to pay $783m in fines and refunds to settle accusations that it misled customers about its credit card services. The bulk of the money will go towards refunding affected customers - $45m will be paid out in penalties to US regulators. The payout relates to the bank's sales and marketing of its payment and identity theft protection services over a two year period starting in 2010. Nearly three million customers were affected.
*** The online survey company SurveyMonkey is to open its European headquarters here. The company is expected to create 50 new positions initially. SurveyMonkey is an online platform that allows users conduct surveys and questionnaires on topics of their choosing. Meanwhile, one of Ireland's management buy-out success stories is to double its workforce over the next 18 months. Agile Networks opens its new offices in Blanchardstown today at which it will announce the creation of 16 new technology jobs.
***A company that specialises in wastewater aeration has emerged as the overall winner of the Irish Times Innovation of the Year Award. Athlone based OxyMem developed a 'bubbleless' aeration system for wastewater that is considered to be four times more energy efficient than other solutions.