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

 


While you were sleeping: Wall Street flags

While you were sleeping: Wall Street flags

Feb 21 (BusinessDesk) – The Standard & Poor's 500 Index retreated from a five-year high as disappointing US housing numbers failed to offer confidence.

In afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.06 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 0.42 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.55 percent. The S&P 500 yesterday closed at 1,530.94 the highest in five years and within 35 points of its all-time record high.

"The market seems very tired and listless, and investors are prone to take profits now as they wait for the music to stop," Matt McCormick, money manager at Bahl & Gaynor in Cincinnati, told Reuters.

Economic reports released today provided a mixed picture.

Total housing starts fell to an 890,000 rate last month, which was lower than forecast, even as builders broke ground on 613,000 houses at an annualised rate in January, the most since July 2008.

The data follows yesterday's surprise slide in US home builder confidence this month.

Separately, the producer-price index rose 0.2 percent in January, after declining 0.3 percent in December.

Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's January meeting are due later today.

Minutes from the Bank of England's most recent meeting, released earlier today, helped bolster the FTSE 100 index up 0.3 percent as they showed a growing bias towards expanding stimulus measures.

Governor Mervyn King was among the three members of the nine-member committee who voted in favour of boosting the central bank's current asset purchase program by 25 billion pounds to 400 billion pounds.

"A case could ... be made for undertaking additional asset purchases at this meeting," according to the minutes of the meeting held on February 6 and 7. "[T]he degree of slack in the economy, and the likely positive response of supply capacity to increased demand, meant that higher output growth would not necessarily lead to any material additional inflationary pressure."

Europe's Stoxx 600 Index ended the day with a 0.3 percent drop from the previous close. In Germany, the DAX weakened 0.3 percent and in France, the CAC 40 lost 0.7 percent.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the value of the euro. The common currency, last trading at US$1.3375, has strengthened more than 10 percent in the past seven months.

“We have to say that euro exchange rates between US$1.30 and US$1.40 are part of the normality of the history of the euro,” she told an event marking 50 years of the German government’s council of economic advisers, according to Bloomberg.

All is not well across Europe though. EU member Cyprus is at risk of defaulting, Standard & Poor's today warned, an event that could renew sovereign debt risks. And in Greece, thousands of workers took to the streets to protest yet again against the government's continuing austerity measures.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Company Results: Air NZ Rides The Tourism Boom With Record Full-Year Earnings

Air New Zealand has ridden the tourism boom and staved off increased competition to deliver the best full-year earnings in its 76-year history. More>>

ALSO:

New PGP: Sheep Milk Industry Gets $12.6M Crown Funding

The Sheep - Horizon Three programme aims to develop "a market driven, end-to-end value chain generating annual revenues of between $200 million and $700 million by 2030," according to a joint statement. More>>

ALSO:

Half Full: Fonterra Raises Forecast Milk Price

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today increased its 2016/17 forecast Farmgate Milk Price by 50 cents to $4.75 per kgMS. When combined with the forecast earnings per share range for the 2017 financial year of 50 to 60 cents, the total payout available to farmers in the current season is forecast to be $5.25 to $5.35 before retentions. More>>

ALSO:

Keep Digging: Seabed Ironsands Miner TransTasman Tries Again

The first company to attempt to gain a resource consent to mine ironsands from the ocean floor in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone has lodged a new application containing fresh scientific and other evidence it hopes will persuade regulators after their initial application was turned down in 2014. More>>

Wool Pulled: Duvets Sold As ‘Premium Alpaca’ Mostly Sheep’s Wool

Rotorua business Budge Collection Limited (Budge) and sole director, Sun Dong Kim, were convicted and fined a total of $71,250 in Auckland District Court after each pleading guilty to four charges of misrepresenting how much alpaca fibre was in their duvets. More>>

Reserve Bank: Labour Calls For Monetary Policy To Expand Goals

Labour's comments follow a speech today by RBNZ governor Graeme Wheeler in which Wheeler sought to answer critics who variously say he should stop lowering interest rates, lower them faster, or that inflation-targeting should no longer be the primary goal of the central bank's activities. More>>

ALSO:

BSA Extension And Sunday Morning Ads: Digital Convergence Bill Captures Online Content

Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams has today announced the Government’s plans to update the Broadcasting Act to better reflect today’s converged market... The Government considered four areas as part of its review into content regulation: classification requirements, advertising restrictions, election programming and contestable funding. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news