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.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

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:

NASA, NOAA: Find 2014 Warmest Year In Modern Record

Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: New Zealand’s Reserve Bank Named Central Bank Of The Year

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s efforts to stifle house price inflation by using new policy tools has seen the institution named Central Bank of the year by Central Banking Publications, a publisher specialising in global central banking practice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

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