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

 

Scoop Business: Govt Resisting Pressure To Pump More Cash Into Solid Energy

Prime Minister John Key says it is “not the government’s preferred option” to make a fresh capital injection into the troubled state-owned coal miner, Solid Energy, but dodged journalists’ questions at his weekly press conference on whether that might prove necessary... More>>

ALSO:

Lagest Ever Privacy Breach Award: NZCU Baywide Accepts “Severe” Censure In Cake Case

NZCU Baywide says that once it was found to have committed a breach of a former staff member’s privacy, it had attempted to resolve the matter... the censure and remedies for its actions taken almost three years ago are “severe” but accepted, and will hopefully draw a line under the matter. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: PayPal Stops Processing Mega Payments; NZX Listing Still On

PayPal has ceased processing payments for Mega, the file storage and encryption firm looking to join the New Zealand stock market via a reverse listing of TRS Investments, amid claims it is not a legitimate cloud storage service. More>>

ALSO:

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:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

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