Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


While you were sleeping: Housing gains, HP charge

While you were sleeping: Housing gains, HP charge

Nov 21 (BusinessDesk) – Wall Street welcomed another surprisingly upbeat sign on the American housing market, the second in as many days.

However, shares of Hewlett-Packard slumped 11 percent after the company announced an US$8.8 billion charge in large part because of "accounting irregularities" at Autonomy Corp, a software company it acquired last year.

Building on yesterday's report showing that US homebuilder sentiment climbed to the highest level in six years in November, Commerce Department data today showed that housing starts posted a surprise 3.6 percent increase in October, reaching the highest level in four years.

Construction began on 894,000 homes at an annual rate after an 863,000 pace in September, compared with economists' forecasts in a Bloomberg survey for 840,000 starts.

"The broad improvement in home prices, home equity, starts, and inventory clearing are key developments that position the economy for stronger growth next year, and beyond," Eric Green, chief economist at TD Securities in New York, told Reuters.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke today called the gains in home sales, prices, and construction since early this year "encouraging". At the same time, however, he also warned that "the recovery in the housing sector is likely to remain moderate by historical standards." He made the comments in a speech in New York.

He reminded investors that there is a lot at stake for the US economy in the talks to avoid the fiscal cliff, and that a successful agreement would provide a boon to growth.

"Currently, uncertainties about the situation in Europe and especially about the prospects for federal fiscal policy seem to be weighing on the spending decisions of households and businesses as well as on financial conditions," Bernanke said.

"Such uncertainties will only be increased by discord and delay. In contrast, cooperation and creativity to deliver fiscal clarity—in particular, a plan for resolving the nation's longer-term budgetary issues without harming the recovery—could help make the new year a very good one for the American economy," he said.

In afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.10 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.07 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 0.10 percent.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the day with a 0.3 percent gain on the previous close. Stocks also advanced in Frankfurt and London. And Paris too, even as Moody's Investors Service downgraded France's sovereign credit rating by one notch to Aa1 after the market's close on Monday.

Among the gainers were shares of Xstrata and Glencore International, rising 3.1 percent and 1.6 percent in London respectively, after investors approved their US$31 billion merger.

Meanwhile, European finance ministers are meeting in Brussels today to discuss ways to fill a 15 billion-euro gap in Greece’s public accounts. The options under consideration include recycling ECB profits on Greek bonds, charging Greece lower interest rates and extending repayment deadlines, according to Bloomberg News.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news