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


While you were sleeping: Jitters over US debt ceiling

While you were sleeping: Jitters over US debt ceiling

Jan 16 (BusinessDesk) – Wall Street was mixed as concerns about the US debt ceiling, and the potential impact on the economy, moved to the fore.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned that failure to lift the US$16.4 trillion debt limit by early March would “impose severe economic hardship.”

Fitch Ratings on Tuesday said it expects that Congress will raise the debt ceiling and that the risk of a US sovereign default "remains extremely low".

However, failure to do so "in a timely manner will prompt a formal review of the US sovereign ratings," the ratings agency said in a statement.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index fell to minus 7.8 in January from a revised minus 7.3 in December, signalling the sixth straight month of contraction for the region's manufacturing.

"The manufacturing sector in general has been stuck in neutral for several months now,” Thomas Simons, an economist with Jefferies Group in New York, who had forecast an improvement in the Empire index to minus 2, told Bloomberg News. “It still hasn’t shown any progress. We’re still stuck in the mud here.”

At least there was some relief from retail sales, which climbed a better-than-expected 0.5 percent last month after gaining 0.4 percent in November, according to Commerce Department data.

"Consumers continue to provide underlying support for the economy," Eric Green, chief economist at TD Securities in New York, told Reuters.

The report also helped underpin retail stocks including JC Penney, last up 1.9 percent.

In afternoon trading in New York, The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.02 percent lower, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped 0.01 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.24 percent.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the session with a decline of less than 0.1 percent from the previous close. The FTSE 100 managed a 0.2 percent gain, though France's CAC 40 slid 0.3 percent and Germany’s DAX sank 0.7 percent.

The German economy probably contracted about 0.5 percent in the last three months of 2012, compared to the previous quarter, according to Federal Statistical Office data. For the whole of 2012, Europe's largest economy still grew, albeit at the slowest pace in three years.

Spain drew solid demand for its bond auction today, selling 5.75 billion euros of bills.

Italy is selling 6 billion euros of 15-year bonds via banks today, to be priced to yield 30 basis points more than the rate on the current benchmark, Bloomberg News reported, citing information from a person familiar with the offering, who asked not to be identified because terms aren’t established. The security will be set against the 4.5 percent bond due March 2026.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Welcome Home: Record High Migration Stokes 41-Year High Population Growth

New Zealand annual net migration hit a new high in October as more people arrived from than departed for Australia for the first time in more than 20 years. More>>


Citizens' Advice Bureau: Report Shows Desperate Housing Situation Throughout NZ

CAB's in-depth analysis of over 2000 client enquiries about emergency accommodation shows vulnerable families, pregnant women and children living in cars and garages, even after seeking assistance from the Ministry of Social Development and Housing New Zealand. More>>


Speaking For The Bees: Greens Call For Neonicotinoid Pesticide Ban

The National Government should ban the use of controversial pesticides called neonicotinoids after evidence has revealed that even at low doses they cause harm to bee populations, the Green Party said today. More>>


Science Awards: NZAS Celebrate NZ Scientific Achievements

The Marsden Medal is awarded for a lifetime of outstanding service to the cause or profession of science, in recognition of service rendered to the cause or profession of science in the widest connotation of the phrase. This year’s medal is awarded to Dr Mike Andrews. More>>


Court Rules: Affco 'Unlawfully' Locked Out Meat Workers

The note says the full court found for the plaintiffs, "that is that the defendant locked out the second plaintiffs unlawfully and that it breached s 32 of the Act by acting otherwise than in good faith towards the plaintiffs while collective bargaining was still going on." More>>


New Bill Introduced: GST On Online Services

These measures are an important first step in the Government’s efforts to deal with increasing volumes of online services and other intangibles purchased from overseas suppliers that should, under New Zealand’s tax rules, be subject to GST. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news