The Opening Bell: Oil hits below $28, Ireland's cheapest petrol, investors take on VW

Get up to speed with today's breaking Irish and international business news

International markets have continued their testing start to 2016 as Japanese shares hit a one-year low early this morning.

Australian stocks also fell by 0.8% as energy prices continue to fall, with oil creeping below $28 for the first time since 2003.

In China, analysts are expecting stocks to continue to fall. New figures show that house prices in China rose by only 1.6% year-on-year in December. China's housing market makes up 15% of the country's economy.

During early trading, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell by 1.5% while the Shanghai Composite was flat.

______________________________________________________

Donegal is the most expensive county to buy petrol in according to a new report from the AA.

The survey has found Wicklow is the dearest when it comes to buying Diesel.

In Donegal the average cost of petrol was 128.1 cent per litre - that's 1.6 cent higher than the national average - while in Wicklow Diesel costs 3.5 cent above the average at 116.3 cent.

Drivers are being urged to shop around - due to wide variations between retailers.

______________________________________________________

66 institutional investors are taking legal action against Volkswagen in Germany.

Financial Times reports that the first claim relating to the company's emissions cheating scandal will be made in the next seven days.

These investors suffered large losses when it was revealed that the company had cheated in emission tests.

Volkswagen has indicated that it has suffered its first annual decline in sales in over a decade following the CO2 controversy.

______________________________________________________

Petroceltic is expected to announce today that it has secured more time to sell or save its business.

Irish Independent reports that the company which has debts of €200m and a cash balance of some €25.5m will be given extra time by its creditors to complete its strategic review of its operations.

In December of last year, the company said that it had no "certainty on liquidity beyond early January 2016."