Opening Bell: Facebook's Irish expansion plans, Kenny eyes EU/US trade deal, the Fed remains cautious

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Facebook is set to significantly expand its Irish presence and has secured additional office space in the capital.

It can fit up to 2,000 workers in its current HQ and will add space for 800 more in the north docklands, according to The Irish Independent.

"When you're growing users and business ... we need to scale up. We've been very successful here in Ireland at delivering results for Facebook. So we continue to get investment," Facebook's Irish boss Gareth Lambe told the newspaper.

It currently employs 1,600 people in Ireland.


Enda Kenny has argued that a EU-US trade deal would be benficial to both sides.

"We continue to believe that a comprehensive bilateral trade and investment deal between the EU and US would benefit both economies and most importantly, the workers and consumers of both blocs ... So I am determined to work with the new US administration and as a committed member of the EU towards this end," he said speaking during his St Patrick's Day visit to the US.

Donald Trump has said that he would prefer to strike bilateral deals - rather than a blanket agreement with all of the EU.


The US has cautiously nudged up its interest rate to 1% as inflation picks up.

However, the Fed did not offer any indication that it plans to speed-up future rate hikes.

"We have seen the economy progress over the last several months in exactly the way we anticipated ... We have some confidence in the path the economy is on," Fed chair Janet Yellen stated.

Like the ECB - the US has a target rate of 2%.


There's been a sharp drop in the number of jobs up for grabs in London's financial sector.

According to figures from Morgan McKinley, positions available last month were down 17% on the year before.

It's being blamed on Brexit, with firms moving work to rival cities like Dublin, Paris, Frankfurt and Luxembourg.