Opening Bell: House prices to rise by 5%, Chinese shares drop again, Irish online shopping spiked in December

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Irish house prices are expected to rise by 5% during this year - according to the latest report from MyHome.ie.

Growth will be stronger outside of Dublin - with prices in Galway set to rise by 12%.

In the capital prices fell for the second quarter, down by 0.1%. During the full year prices increased by 2.6%.

The report says the increase is down to the ongoing economic recovery - but house price inflation is expected to start to level off in 2016.

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Asian markets have remained volatile with Chinese shares falling sharply overnight.

The Shanghai Composite fell by 4.4% after last week's sell-off and the publication of weak inflation data over the weekend.

China's central bank increased the guidance rate for the yuan but investors remained jittery.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 1.2% and oil prices continue to fall - Brent crude oil is down 750 cents to $32.80 a barrel.

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A record increase in online shopping was reported in December, with internet sales increasing by 6.6% last month.

This was 16% higher than December 2016 according to Visa Europe's consumer spending index.

A more modest bump in face-to-face spending was also recorded, increasing by 3.8%.

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The Government is launching an action plan for jobs for Ireland's Mid-East region this morning.

It has the potential to create 25 thousand extra jobs across counties Meath, Kildare and Wicklow, according to Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton.

The Plan is the seventh of 8 regional jobs plans to be published over the coming months, as part of a new €250m strategy.