Irish Life on top with 6.5pc return
PENSION funds consolidated the gains made in February with a strong performance over the month of March, with an average return of 5.8pc.
This was because equity markets rallied on the back of positive economic data and a pick-up in merger and acquisition activity, according to figures from Rubicon Investment Consulting.
Irish Life Investment Managers took top spot with a return of 6.5pc for the month, while Merrion Investment Managers propped up the league table with a 4.7pc return.
Petroceltic gains Algeria extension
Oil and gas exploration firm Petroceltic has secured a two-year extension to carry out appraisal work on a permit in Algeria.
The extension covers four discovery areas on the Isarene Block and commences on April 26, 2010.
German motor sales plunge 27pc
German car sales plunged 27pc last month on a 12-month comparison. But exports climbed 51pc owing to a rebound of global markets.
German sales were boosted in 2009 by a state-funded car scrapping scheme that expired in early September, and had been expected to fall as the subsidy was removed.
Precious metal at one-month high
Gold climbed to a one-month high, erasing a decline, as Greek debt concerns spurred investors to buy precious metals as an alternative to holding currency. Platinum touched a 20-month high before giving up the gain.
Gold priced in euros is up 11pc this year, reaching a record today as the 16-nation currency dropped against the dollar on concerns the European Union's financial-rescue plan for Greece may fail.
Demand drives copper price rise
THE PRICE of copper passed $8,000 (€5,970) a tonne for the first time in 20 months yesterday, but hopes that it was proof of a sustained global recovery promptly suffered a setback when traders said that it may be about to fall steeply again.
China's rapid urbanisation has fuelled demand for copper, but commodity traders in Asia warn that prices may be due for a "sharp and painful" correction because China already has more of the metal than it needs.