Opening Bell: Markets fall after ECB stimulus announcement, saving The Banking Inquiry, OPEC's conundrum

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Markets have taken a hit after yesterday's ECB meeting which saw the bank commit to introducing new measures to stimulate the euro-economy, but not to the level which investors had been expecting.

This pushed up the value of the euro - rising from €1 buying $1.06 yesterday morning, to $1.09 today.

While the bank's President, Mario Draghi has argued that, "these measures need time to be fully appreciated," many investors and economists believe that the new policies will be insufficient to kick-start the eurozone economy - which experienced inflation of only 0.1% in November.

The ISEQ fell by 135 points to 6,752 while the FTSE was down 146 at 6,275.


The Banking Inquiry is set for a make-or-break meeting today - which could determine whether its final report is ever issued.

Members will consider the last possible changes to the final report - parts of which they still have not seen.

Parts of the Banking Inquiry’s long-awaited final report have already been scrapped twice. Today, members will see the third and final draft of some crucial sections, including the executive summary and recommendations.

A final draft may be signed off, but if not, it could mean that the report will never see the light of day.


Members of the OPEC oil cartel will meet in Vienna today to determine new target prices and production numbers.

This is likely to be a difficult meeting as Saudi Arabia has made surprise proposals to cut oil production - this approach has been rejected by Russia, Iran and Iraq.

The Wall St Journal reports that it has seen an internal OPEC document which was prepared ahead of today's meeting - it says that even if OPEC cuts supply, the global oil glut is likely to continue.

The group estimates that over-supply is currently running at 1.8 million barrels a day.


NAMA chief executive Brendan McDonagh has said that he expects the agency to achieve a surplus of €2bn by the time that it winds up.

He added that two loan portfolios with a par value of €3bn each will be sold in 2016.

Yesterday NAMA outlined its progress on its house-building programme, as well as its Docklands redevelopment. It says that 78% of the 20,000 houses it is developing will be in Dublin, with a further 15% in the surrounding area.