Live News

Live news: European stocks struggle to build after US rally; Fianna Fáil to announce deputy leader

Bite-sized servings of the latest in business, tech and current affairs

Welcome to the Business Post’s Live News section. We’re here all day to keep you up to date on the latest developments in business, tech and current affairs.

16.47 Fianna Fáil to announce deputy leader

Micheál Martin has called a press conference at Leinster House to announce a deputy leader for Fianna Fáil.

The position has been vacant since Dara Calleary stood down in August 2020.

15.40 - Women not ‘risk adverse’, says InvestHer chief

Anne Ravanona, founder and chief executive of Global InvestHer, has called on policymakers to implement changes which will reduce the funding divide between male and female entrepreneurs.

Enough of this talk that women are risk averse,” she said. “It is simply not true. There are incredible women doing things and they are severely underestimated and underfunded, and we want to change that.”

Ravanona is former head of the EU delegation to the W20, an engagement group to the G20 and has been consistently labelled one of the most influential woman in the startup space.

Her full interview with our markets correspondent Kathleen Gallagher is here.

15.15 - European stocks struggle to build on US tech rally

European stocks and US equity futures paused today as traders sought fresh catalysts to extend the latest tech-driven gains.

As reported by Bloomberg, contracts on the S&P 500 were steady in holiday-thinned trade, after the index hit its 31st record high of 2024, powered by another surge in artificial intelligence bellwether Nvidia, now the world’s most valuable company.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 slipped 0.1 per cent after two days of gains. Losses were led by homebuilder Berkeley Group Holdings Plc, which announced plans for its own rental housing platform, and SMA Solar Technology AG which issued an earnings outlook downgrade.

However, despite a recent wobble driven by French political tensions, European stocks are about 2 per cent off their latest record highs.

14.45 - AI is the largest shift in the history of the workforce - AI chief

Dragoş Tudorache, the key architect of the EU’s landmark AI Act, said that AI would be the largest shift to the workforce in the history of humankind.

“I’ve seen people ask: Is it equivalent to fire? Is it equivalent to electricity? And many other technological wonders that we as humans produced over the course of history.

“The reality is, I think that AI is bigger than those combined, because it really touches everything, it cuts across everything,” he said on Wednesday.

He also said that the impact of the EU AI Act would be about ten times larger than that of GDPR, the bloc’s substantial privacy law, which came into force in 2018.

His full comments can be read here.

13.00 - House prices rose almost 8% in year to April

House prices increased by 7.9 per cent in the 12 months to April 2024, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The Residential Property Price Index (RRPI) shows that, in the same period, house prices in Dublin rose by 8.8 per cent while apartment prices increased by 6.2 per cent.

South Dublin saw the biggest price increase (10.5 per cent) followed by Fingal which saw a rise of 7.1 per cent.

Outside Dublin, house prices were up by 7.3 per cent and apartment prices increased by 10.3 per cent.

The region outside of Dublin that saw the largest rise in house prices was the Mid-West (Clare, Limerick, and Tipperary) at 9.7 per cent.

The report noted that the median price of a dwelling purchased was €335,000.

The lowest median price for a dwelling was €169,000 in Longford, while the highest median price was €624,999 in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

12.35 - Nama to facilitate 6,800 more houses before winding down

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) is set to facilitate a further 6,800 housing units before it winds down.

The agency’s annual report revealed that since 2014 Nama funded or facilitated the delivery of over 37,700 new homes. 14,000 of these were directly funded by the agency.

Nama was established in response to the Irish financial crisis in 2009, the report revealed that the agency has “largely achieved its objectives and now has less than 2% of its portfolio remaining” and intends to wind down by the end of 2025.

According to the report, 369 housing units are currently under construction and a further 6,800 units are the subject of planning applications.

12.15 - Tourists spent estimated €7.3 billion in 2023

The estimated expenditure from tourists to Ireland was €7.3 billion, new figures from the Central Statistic Office show.

According to the agency’s annual inbound tourism report, 6.3 million foreign visitors departed Ireland on overseas routes in 2023.

Over 40 per cent of visitors travelled to Ireland for holidays, staying an average of 8.2 nights and spending an average of €1,171 on their trips.

37.9 per cent of the visitors were from Great Britain, 18.3 per cent were from the United States, and 7.1 per cent were from Germany.

11.30 - Nama reports €68 million profit for 2023

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) made a €68 million profit in 2023 and has increased its projected lifetime contribution to the Exchequer by €300 million.

According to the agency’s annual report, total payments from Nama to the Exchequer are projected to be €5.2 billion, including a €4.8 billion lifetime surplus and €400 million corporation tax paid to date.

Nama was established in 2009 by the government to address the banking crisis in Ireland, its primary objective is to maximise the financial return on acquired bank assets.

During 2023, NAMA generated €319 million in cash, including €271 million realised from the sale of loans and property. It also transferred a €350 million surplus to the Exchequer.

Nama reports that 2023 marks its 13th consecutive year of profitability and that the agency has remained debt-free since redeeming the last of its €31.8 billion debt in March 2020.

10.35 - Roderic O’Gorman throws his hat in the ring for Green Party leadership

Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman has announced his candidacy for leadership of the Green Party.

It comes after both leader Eamon Ryan and deputy leader Catherine Martin announced yesterday they were stepping down.

In a video posted to social media, O’Gorman asked for nominations for party members to support his bid

“I am running for leader, after 24 years of Green Party membership, to build a party that can win across this country, and deliver on our ambitions,” he said.

He has been endorsed by TD Malcolm Noonan and councillor Michael Pidgeon.

10.30 - Ireland needs to build 85,000 houses a year until 2030

Around 85,000 new homes will be required annually until 2030 to bring Ireland close to the European average for per capita housing stock, according to Davy.

Closing the European gap completely would require an average of around 122,000 new homes annually – close to quadruple current output – which would not likely be feasible, according to the financial services firm’s latest economic forecast.

In the report, Davy warned that although the Irish economy is on the cusp of rapid growth, aided by lower inflation and high employment, shortfalls in Ireland’s infrastructure threaten the country’s competitiveness.

Full story here.

7.30 UK inflation returns to 2 per cent target

The rate of inflation in the UK has returned to it its 2 per cent target for the first time in three years, figures from the Office of National Statistics show.

The Consumer Prices Index rose 2 per cent from a year ago in May, down from 2.3 per cent the month before.

It was in line with economist expectations for a reading of 2 per cent.

Full story here.

Analysis here.