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

 

ETS Review: Modelling Documents Released

Three technical documents are being released to help New Zealanders engage with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) review, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>

ALSO:

Northland: Govt Plan Targets Transport, Web, Maori Assets

The government has released a 10-year plan to attract investors and lift economic growth in Northland, a region that perennially underperforms the rest of the country even while being endowed with natural beauty, productive land, minerals, a potential workforce, scope for manufacturing, forestry and aquaculture, and proximity to Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Unemployment Rate Falls To 5.3 Percent

The unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in the December 2015 quarter (from 6.0 percent), Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009. There were 16,000 fewer people unemployed than in the September ... More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Labour Urges Talley’s To End AFFCO Lockout

Labour has urged Talley’s to resolve the ongoing industrial dispute with AFFCO workers which is having a severe effect on the employees, their families and their communities, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. More>>

ALSO:

Three Kings: Govt To Oppose Appeal Blocking $1.2B Auckland Housing Plan

Environment Minister Nick Smith and Housing New Zealand have joined legal proceedings in support of Auckland Council and Fletcher Building opposing a bid by community groups to only allow low-rise housing in a $1.2 billion housing redevelopment on the disused site of the Three Kings quarry. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Jetstar Expands Regional Network With Three New Routes

More New Zealanders than ever before will have access to Jetstar’s affordable flights when new services take off today from Auckland to New Plymouth and Palmerston North, and Nelson to Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news