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

 


While you were sleeping: US manufacturing accelerates

While you were sleeping: US manufacturing accelerates

Feb 21 (BusinessDesk) – Wall Street rose after a gauge of US manufacturing climbed to the highest level in nearly four years, easing concern that weakness in recent data meant the recovery in the world’s largest economy was losing steam.

The Markit Economics preliminary index of manufacturing rose to 56.7 in February, up from a final number of 53.7 in January.

"The manufacturing data is extremely positive, especially coming after a spate of bad news at a time when the Fed seems committed to slowing stimulus," Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at the ConvergEx Group in New York, told Reuters.

Also positive, jobless claims declined by 3,000 to 336,000 in the week ended February 15.

Separately, the Conference Board’s leading economic index rose 0.3 percent in January, following no change in December.

"The increase … reflects an economy that is expanding moderately, although the pace is somewhat held back by persistent and severe inclement weather in most parts of the country," economist Ken Goldstein said in a Conference Board statement.

"If the economy is going to move on to a faster track in 2014 compared to last year, consumer demand and especially investment will need to pick up significantly from their current trends,” Goldstein said.

In afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.67 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.58 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.49 percent.

Gains in shares of Verizon, last up 3.3 percent, and those of Exxon Mobil, last up 1.7 percent, helped propel the Dow higher.

Shares of Wal-Mart fell 1.8 percent, posting the largest decline in the Dow, after the company predicted full-year profit that failed to meet expectations.

Shares of Facebook slipped, last down 0.8 percent, after the company yesterday said it agreed to buy WhatsApp, a messaging app with 450 million members, for US$19 billion.

“They seem to have made a pretty strong statement with this acquisition,” Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at EMarketer, told Bloomberg News. “Facebook has come to the realisation that it needs a portfolio of apps to reach people with different use cases, different demographics, or different ways of communicating.”

In China, there were further signs of weakness from the world’s second-largest economy. The purchasing managers’ index from HSBC and Markit Economics fell to of 48.3 in the preliminary February reading, down from January’s final figure of 49.5.

“The building-up of disinflationary pressures implies that the underlying momentum for manufacturing growth could be weakening. We believe Beijing policy makers should and can fine-tune policy to keep growth at a steady pace in the coming year,” Hongbin Qu, chief economist, China & co-head of Asian economic research at HSBC, said in a statement.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the session at 334.78, slightly down from the previous close. The UK’s FTSE 100 both rose 0.2percent, while France’s CAC 40 added 0.3 percent. Germany’s DAX fell 0.4 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Full: Dairy Payouts Steady, Cash Will Be Tight

Industry body DairyNZ is advising farmers to focus on strong cashflow management as they look ahead to the 2015-16 season following Fonterra's half-year results announcement today. More>>

ALSO:

First Union: Cotton On Plans To Use “Tea Break” Law

“The Prime Minister reassured New Zealanders that ‘post the passing of this law, will you all of a sudden find thousands of workers who are denied having a tea break? The answer is absolutely not’... Cotton On is proposing to remove tea and meal breaks for workers in its safety sensitive distribution centre. How long before other major chains try and follow suit?” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ-Korea FTA Signed Amid Spying, Lost Sovereignty Claims

A long-awaited free trade agreement between New Zealand and South Korea has been signed in Seoul by Prime Minister John Key and the Korean president, Park Geun-hye. More>>

ALSO:

PM Visit: NZ And Viet Nam Agree Ambitious Trade Target

New Zealand and Viet Nam have agreed an ambitious target of doubling two-way goods and service trade to around $2.2 billion by 2020, Prime Minister John Key has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Economy Grows 0.8% In Fourth Quarter

The New Zealand economy expanded in the fourth quarter as tourists drove growth in retailing and accommodation, and property sales increased demand for real estate services. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ’s Wheeler Keeps OCR On Hold, No Rate Hikes Ahead

The Reserve Bank has removed the prospect of future interest rate hikes from its forecast horizon as a strong kiwi dollar and cheap oil hold down inflation, and the central bank ponders whether to lower its assessment of where “neutral” interest rates should be. The kiwi dollar gained. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news