Opening Bell: ECB studies Irish banks before Brexit vote, the Fed cools expectations, French air traffic controllers strike

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The European Central Bank (ECB) has been liaising with Irish banks to assess their readiness to deal with the potential of the UK leaving the EU.

This is part of a broader examination of how European banking sectors which are exposed to the UK market would be affected by the UK voting to leave the Union.

Banks in Ireland, Spain, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Italy will be examined by the ECB.

“ECB Banking Supervision is engaging with the relevant banks to ensure they are adequately assessing the risks and are prepared for all possible outcomes,” a spokesperson from the bank commented.

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Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen has warned that global economy and financial uncertainties which pose risks to the US economy are likely to result in the delay of US interest-rate increases.

"Given the risks to the outlook, I consider it appropriate for the committee to proceed cautiously in adjusting policy," she told the Economic Club of New York last night.

The Fed's Open Market Committee left rates unchanged when it last met on March 15th and 16th. It also signaled that it was planning to reduce the size of its rate increases.

It will meet again on April 26th and 27th, it is unlikely that anychange will be made to interest rates.

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Air Traffic Controllers in France are staging a 36 hour work stoppage.

Ryanair has condemned the A4E union which has held 3 work stoppages in the past 2 weeks.

The strike has also be described as cynical, as its timing coincides with the Easter school holidays.

Ryanair's Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs, says this latest strike in France will inconvenience many airlines and passengers and that Ryanair will have to cancel up to 100 flights:

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Volkswagen is being sued by the US watchdog which was misled by the company during its emission cheating scandal.

The Federal Trade Commission alleges that the German manufacturer made fraudulent emission claims which misled consumers.

"For years Volkswagen’s ads touted the company’s ‘Clean Diesel’ cars even though it now appears Volkswagen rigged the cars with devices designed to defeat emissions tests ... Our lawsuit seeks compensation for the consumers who bought affected cars based on Volkswagen’s deceptive and unfair practice," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said.

VW faces potential fines and penalties worth more than $20bn relating to the emissions scandal.