Opening Bell: Oil prices bounce, 2017's first-time buyer grant, Blackberry stops making phones

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Oil prices have been boosted by news that OPEC producers are planning a production cut.

This comes after sideline talks between members of the group overnight.

According to a number of the oil ministers an agreement will be formally introduced when OPEC members officially meet in November.

After the news was announced the price of Brent Crude oil rose by 6% to nearly $49 a barrel.


The Irish Independent reports that the first-time buyers' grant unveiled in Budget 2017 will be “meaningless to the vast majority of young people searching for a home.”

It says that the incentives will exclude second-hand homes - and offer grants when new houses which cost €350,000 or less are sold.

Recent figures show that only 269 new houses have been built in Dublin in the first eight months of this year - while 68 were built in Cork City, and only 32 in Galway City.

The report adds that  officials in the Department of Finance have "reservations about a scheme tailored towards new builds" - but Simon Covney argues that the it will encourage builders to construct affordable homes.


Blackberry has announced that it will stop manufacturing its own smartphones.

The canadian company has struggled to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation in the industry in recent years.

While it maintained a body of business-focus users, the company says that its handsets are no longer selling enough units to justify increased investment in making its own phones.

Blackberry will shift focus to software development.

It is unclear if future handsets will carry the ‘Blackberry’ name - if they do they will be made by a third party manufacturer.


The Financial Times reports that Spotify is in advance talks to buy Soundcloud.

While Spotify’s streaming service offers music from record labels, Soundsloud is a hotbed of unsigned music, DJ remixes, and podcasts.

The Berlin based start-up is valued at more than €620m.

The deal would add to Spotify’s arsenal as it attempts to stay ahead of its rivals in the increasingly competitive music streaming market.

Latest user numbers show that the Swedish company has 40 million paying subscribers while Apple Music has attracted 17 million.