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

 

While you were sleeping: US data show shine

While you were sleeping: US data show shine

March 21 (BusinessDesk) – Wall Street moved higher as the latest reports underpinned the view that the pace of recovery in the world’s largest economy is gathering momentum.

Yesterday Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen suggested US borrowing costs might begin rising faster than economists and investors had anticipated because of the US economy’s strength.

Jobless claims rose by 5,000 to 320,000 in the week ended March 15, according to Labor Department data. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined to 327,000.

Separately, the Conference Board’s index leading indicators advanced more than forecast in February, climbing 0.5 percent, following a revised 0.1 percent gain in January. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s business activity index was at 9.0 in March, from -6.3 in February.

Even so, existing home sales fell 0.4 percent to an annual rate of 4.60 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.

US policy makers yesterday also announced another US$10 billion downgrade to their monthly bond purchases, now reduced to a pace of US$55 billion a month.

"We're trying to decipher her timeframe and get ahead of it," Frank Davis, director of sales and trading at LEK Securities in New York, told Reuters. "While we didn't make any drastic changes to our positions as a result of what she said, we have a tight watch on her to figure out how she'll play her hand."

In afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.70 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.58 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.36 percent.

Gains in shares of JPMorgan and those of Microsoft, up 3.5 percent and 3.1 percent respectively, helped propel the Dow higher.

“People are back focusing on signs of economic growth,” Stephen Carl, principal and head equity trader at New York-based Williams Capital Group, told Bloomberg News.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index edged higher to finish today’s session at 327.67. Germany’s DAX rose 0.2 percent, while France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.5 percent. The UK’s FTSE 100 shed 0.5 percent.

Gold suffered a drop as the Fed’s confidence in the improving US economy decreased the appeal of the safe-having investment. Gold futures for April delivery 0.8 percent lower to close at US$1,330.50 on the Comex in New York.

“People are reassessing their reasons to hold gold,” Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services in Chicago, told Bloomberg News. “Gold has removed its safe-haven hat.”

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Crown Accounts: Slightly Softer Growth Expected In PREFU

A slightly softer growth forecast is the main feature of largely unchanged Pre-election Fiscal Update compared to the Budget forecasts three months ago, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Water: Farming Leaders Pledge To Help Make Rivers Swimmable

In a first for the country, farming leaders have pledged to work together to help make New Zealand’s rivers swimmable for future generations. More>>

ALSO:

Unintended Consequences: Liquor Change For Grocery Stores On Tobacco Tax

Changes in the law made to enable grocery stores to continue holding liquor licences to sell alcohol despite increases in tobacco taxes will take effect on 15 September 2017. More>>

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

By May 2018: Wider, Earlier Microbead Ban

The sale and manufacture of wash-off products containing plastic microbeads will be banned in New Zealand earlier than previously expected, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today. More>>

ALSO: