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

 

Housing Policy: Auckland Densification As Popular As Ebola, English Says

Finance Minister Bill English said calls by the Reserve Bank Governor for more densification in Auckland’s housing were “about as popular in parts of Auckland as Ebola” would be. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: NZ Government Deficit Smaller Than Expected In First Half

The New Zealand government's operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first six months of the financial year, as the consumption and corporate tax take rose ahead of forecast in December, having lagged estimates in previous months. More>>

ALSO:

Fruit & Veg Crackdown: Auckland Fruit Fly Find Under Investigation

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating a find of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn... MPI has placed legal controls on the movement of fruit and some vegetables outside of a defined circular area which extends 1.5km from where the fly was trapped in Grey Lynn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Westpac NZ Reaches $2.97M Swaps Settlement

Westpac Banking Corp’s New Zealand unit has agreed to pay $2.97 million in a settlement with the Commerce Commission over the way the bank sold interest rate swaps to farmers between 2005 and 2012. More>>

ALSO:

Going Dutch: Fonterra Kicks Off $144M Partnership With Dutch Cheese Maker

Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world’s largest dairy exporter, has commissioned a new dairy ingredients plant in Heerenveen, in the north of the Netherlands, its first wholly-owned and operated ingredients plant in Europe. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Retail Sales Beat Estimates

New Zealand retail sales rose more than expected in the fourth quarter, led by vehicle-related transactions, food and beverages, adding to evidence that cheap credit and a growing jobs market are encouraging consumers to spend. More>>

ALSO:

Delivery Cuts Go Ahead: 'Government Money Grab' From NZ Post

"It's a money grab by the Government as the shareholder of New Zealand Post" says Postal Workers Union advocate Graeme Clarke about the changes announced by NZ Post. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news