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


Oceans: NOAA Declares Third Ever Global Coral Bleaching Event

As record ocean temperatures cause widespread coral bleaching across Hawaii, NOAA scientists confirm the same stressful conditions are expanding to the Caribbean and may last into the new year, prompting the declaration of the third global coral bleaching event ever on record. More>>

Scoop Business: A Decade Of Government Pre-Seed Investment

More publicly-funded science is being commercialised after a decade of government ‘pre-see’d investment, according to an independent review. More>>


Solid Energy: Plan To Shut Unprofitable Huntly East Mine

Solid Energy, the state-owned coal miner in voluntary administration, plans to shut down its unprofitable Huntly East mine and lay off 65 staff after deciding the site stands "no chance whatsoever" of finding a buyer. More>>


E Tū: Merger Creates NZ's Biggest Private Sector Union

E tū has been created by the merger of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and Service and Food Workers’ Union. It represents more than 50,000 working New Zealanders in industries as diverse as aviation, construction, journalism, food manufacturing, mining and cleaning. More>>


Internet: NZ Govt Lifts Target Speeds For Rural Broadband

The government has lifted its expectations on faster broadband speeds for rural New Zealand as it targets increased spending on research and development in the country's information and communications technology sector, which it sees as a key driver for export growth. More>>


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news