Internet search engine Google has launched an online financial information site in the US which will compete directly with services provided by Yahoo! and MSN.
Google has launched a trial version of its new Finance site which features information on North American stocks, mutual funds and public and private companies along with charts and fundamental financial data.
The site is populated with financial data provided by a number of firms including Reuters, Hoover's, Morningstar, Interactive Data and Revere Data.
This information will be integrated with other content that Google has indexed from the Web, including news from the 4500+ sources on the Google News service. The company is also expected to eventually introduce advertising on the site.
The finance portal will compete directly with Yahoo! Finance - which is the Web's most visited finance site - as well as with MSN's Money section and AOL's online finance service.
The move comes as banks and fund managers move to target private investors via Internet services. Last week Fidelity Investments announced plans to open a virtual store on the Amazon.com site.