Opening Bell: Facebook's domination, OECD Brexit fears, Fed holds tight on interest rates

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

It's been a good first quarter for Facebook - the social network has reported a 15% rise in users compared to the same time last year.

Shares in the company have hit a record high as it announced that it has more than 1.5 billion users and revenues are up by 51.9%.

The tech giant has been putting a push behind advertiser-friendly video content and live-streaming.

Mobile ad revenue accounted for 82% of total ad revenue during the first quarter of 2016 - compared to 73% last year.


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has warned that a British exit from the EU could cause an international financial shock, and create doubts about the future of the Single Market and the EU.

Its research projected that an exit could cost British households up to £5,000 in a worse case scenario as the UK's economy contracts by 5%.

Central Bank governor Philip Lane says that Ireland is not in a position to fully prepare for the UK leaving.

He commented that "The unknown unknowns mean you can't write down every possibility at this point."


In the US the Federal Reserve has announced that it will leave its interest rates unchanged.

Low inflation, fears for the global economy, and potential uncertainty in Europe if the UK leaves the EU all weighed on policymakers' minds.

The central bank has already indicated that rate increases in 2016 will be slower than original forecasts as the global economic picture remains gloomy.

The Fed's June 14-15th meeting is now the next juncture where a rate hike is likely to be considered.


Luas drivers will mount another strike today in the long-running dispute over pay.

Thousands of Dublin commuters face disruption this morning as a result .

The strike comes as the company that operates the Luas Transdev warns drivers they will cut their pay by 10% tomorrow if the strike continues.