Bad news for the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times!

Worse yet for their online rivals Yahoo Finance and Microsoft's MSN Money.

World-dominating search engine Google announced today (Monday) that as of tomorrow it will launch a website offering financial data and news - Google Finance.

As usual, Google will launch the product as a "still-under-development" beta version - a stratagem that neatly neuters any criticism for product flaws or shortcomings.

The fledgling will emulate its established rivals with such daily offerings as share quotes and charts, integrated financial news from its extant Google News brand, discussion groups and the ability for investors to create personalised portfolios of their share holdings.

In addition there are some interesting new ideas. The interactive charts will map market data with news stories, so the effect of announcements can be tracked against the stock performance. Moreover, the charts can be dragged dynamically through different time periods via a scroll bar.

Nor do users need to look-up a firm's ticker symbol. Instead they can find corporate information simply by keying-in a company name.

Google has also upgraded its search results page by showing the frequency of news about a company, with bar charts showing news volumes over time.

Google Finance was developed in the search titan's Bangalore and New York offices. Although its data is mainly restricted to North American companies, European stock data should be added once licensing deals have been concluded.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff