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

 


While you were sleeping: Stocks extend decline

While you were sleeping: Stocks extend decline

Feb 22 (BusinessDesk) – Wall Street extended losses for a second day amid concern the Federal Reserve's stimulus for the US economy might end sooner than expected, while the latest data on euro zone services and manufacturing output showed a larger-than-expected contraction.

Minutes from the latest Fed meeting called into question the size and duration of the central bank's bond-buying program at a time when the signals about the recovery in the world's largest economy remain mixed, while the euro zone shows signs of further trouble.

A report today showed the Fed’s Philadelphia general economic index slid to minus 12.5 in February, the lowest reading since June, from minus 5.8 in January.

In afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.54 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 0.75 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index weakened 1.15 percent. The S&P 500 closed at a five-year high on Tuesday.

“People are taking some profits and watching to see what the next catalyst is,” Neil Massa, senior equity trader at Boston-based John Hancock Asset Management, told Bloomberg News. “It’s a healthy sell off. We’ve gone up so much, it’s a good opportunity to take a breather. I don’t think it’s a sign of a continuing trend.”

Earnings from companies including Wal-Mart and Safeway showed there that are plenty of reasons for the good times to last. Better-than-expected results bolstered shares of both retailers, sending Wal-Mart up 2.7 percent, while those of Safeway soared 13 percent.

But there were worrisome signals too. Shares of VeriFone Systems tanked, last down 39.7 percent, as sluggish demand in Europe hurt the company's profit outlook.

Indeed, a composite index of factory and services output in the euro zone weakened to 47.3 this month from 48.6 in January, according to Markit Economics. Economist' surveys by Bloomberg and Reuters both had forecast a reading of 49.

“A steepening rate of decline in February is a disappointment, and suggests that the euro zone is on course to contract for a fourth consecutive quarter in the first three months of the year," Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said in a statement.

Economies differ vastly across key member states, the data showed. The difference between France and Germany is the largest since the survey began in 1998, according to Markit.

"Germany is on course to grow in the first quarter, recovering from the 0.6 percent GDP fall seen in the fourth quarter, possibly expanding by as much as 0.4 percent," Williamson said. "In contrast, Frances’s downturn is likely to deepen, bringing the euro area’s second-largest member more in line with the periphery than with the now solitary-looking German ‘core’.”

Europe's Stoxx 600 Index ended the session with a 1.5 percent slide from the previous close. National key stock indexes also dropped in London, Frankfurt and Paris, shedding 1.6 percent, 1.9 percent and 2.3 percent respectively.

Italy's key benchmark dropped 3.1 per cent as uncertainty about the outcome of this weekend's national elections continues to rise.

The euro weakened as well, retreating 0.6 percent against the greenback, while falling 1.3 percent against the yen.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Catches Breath After "Goldilocks" Slump

The New Zealand dollar edged up following its dramatic slump yesterday after the Reserve Bank confirmed speculation it intervened in the currency market last month and PM John Key suggested a “Goldilocks” level far lower than at present. More>>

ALSO:

Biosecurity: Kiwifruit Claim To Hold Officials Accountable For Psa

Kiwifruit growers have joined forces to hold Biosecurity NZ accountable in the courts for its negligence in allowing 2010’s Psa outbreak that devastated New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry and exports. Foundation claimants representing well ... More>>

ALSO:

Poison: Anglers Advised Not To Eat Trout In 1080 Areas

With the fishing season opening in just a few days (1 October 2014), anglers are being warned by the Department of Conservation(DOC) not to eat trout from pristine backcountry waters and their downstream catchments, where the department is conducting 1080 poisoning operations. More>>.

ALSO:

Quotas: MPI Swoop On Suspected Fraudulent Fishing Activity

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) compliance officers swooped on a Hawkes Bay fishing enterprise today to secure evidence in an investigation into suspected fraudulent activity... “The investigation involves activity throughout the commercial supply chain – catching, landing, processing and exporting.” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Fonterra Slashes 2015 Milk Payout, Earnings Tumble 76%

Fonterra Cooperative Group cut its forecast 2015 milk price payout by about 12 percent, citing weaker global dairy prices and said there is a risk of further declines given strong global milk production. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news