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: Affordability Drops 14%, Driven By Auckland Prices

Housing affordability across New Zealand fell 14 percent in the year ending November 2014, with Auckland’s lack of affordability set to reach levels it hit during the height of the global financial crisis, according to the latest Massey University Home Affordability Report More>>

ALSO:

The Dry: Fonterra Drops Forecast Milk Volumes By 3.3 Percent

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the worlds largest dairy exporter, reduced its milk volume forecast for the 2014-2015 season by 3.3 per cent due to the impact of dry weather on production in recent weeks. More>>

ALSO:

Strike: Lyttelton Port Workers Vote To Escalate Dispute

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton Port today voted to escalate their industrial action. Around 200 RMTU members have been operating an overtime ban since 17 December and today they endorsed a series of full withdrawals of labour at the port. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

ALSO:

0.8 Percent Annually:
NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

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