Opening Bell: ECB stimulus misses the mark, Apple's product launch, confidence builds in the construction sector

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

Markets have had a volatile reaction to the ECB's latest stimulus boost - European shares slumped while the euro increased in value.

Frankfurt closed down 2.3%, Paris ended 1.7%, London's FTSE 100 finished down 1.8%, while Dublin's ISEQ fell by 1.49%.

The euro fell to 1.6% against the US dollar to $1.0822, before climbing to $1.1218.

The ECB cut its main interest rate from 0.05% to 0% and its bank deposit rate, from minus 0.3% to minus 0.4%.


Apple has announced a launch event on March 21st - as ever, the details surrounding what will be announced remain a secret.

It is widely reported that the company will unveil a smaller iPhone and a new iPad.

The date of this keynote address is significant - it is one day before the next hearing in the case between the FBI and Apple.


Confidence has returned to the Irish construction sector, which is once again attracting significant levels of private investment.

That's according to new figures from the Building Information Index, which show that €6.1bn was spent on construction here last year.

That's an increase of €3bn on the figure for 2014.


Both sides in the Luas dispute are due back at the Workplace Relations Commission today.

It's a bid to avert further strikes at the company.

Industrial action by drivers has been announced for St Patrick's Day, as well as Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.

Yesterday their union, SIPTU also announced further 48 strikes on 2nd and 3rd of April, as well as the 23rd and 24th of next month.

The drivers have reduced their pay claim from 53% over five years, to between 27% and 30%.