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

 


While you were sleeping: Consumer gains confidence

While you were sleeping: Consumer gains confidence

March 26 (BusinessDesk) – Wall Street gained after data showing US consumer confidence has improved to a six-year high bolstered expectations that the recovery of the world’s biggest economy is intact.

The Conference Board’s index of US consumer confidence rose to 82.3 in March, up from 78.3 in February, a report showed today. The gain was larger than expected.

“While consumers were moderately more upbeat about future job prospects and the overall economy, they were less optimistic about income growth,” Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement. “Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue improving and believe it may even pick up a little steam in the months ahead.”

Separately, purchases of new homes declined in February, falling 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 units, the lowest level since September 2013.

Investors opted to focus on the bright side. In afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.76 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.45 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.17 percent.

“The world is nowhere near fully invested. Global growth will kick in once the US frees itself from a freezing cold winter and you want to own a slice of that,” William Hobbs, the London-based head of equity strategy at Barclays’ wealth-management unit, told Bloomberg News. “We expect synchronised and accelerating growth from most of the developed economies.”

Gains in shares of IBM and Cisco, up 3.3 percent and 2.6 percent respectively, led the advance in the Dow.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser told CNBC he was surprised by the market's reaction following Fed Chairman Janet Yellen’s comments at the conclusion of the FOMC meeting last week.

Last Wednesday Yellen said interest rates might rise as early as the first half of 2015.

“It's a little bit puzzling that the market would react the way it did," Plosser said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "I don't think the Fed changed its position. In fact, it tried to say very explicitly in its statement that we believe forward guidance or the expectations have not changed as far as we're concerned."

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the day with an advance of 1.3 percent from the previous close, as did the UK’s FTSE 100. France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX both climbed 1.6 percent.

In Germany, business confidence weakened. The Ifo institute’s business-climate index slid to 110.7 in March, down from 111.3 in February.

Some investors found value in gold prices that touched the lowest level since February 14. Gold futures for June delivery were up 0.1 percent to US$1,312.80 an ounce on the Comex in New York, after earlier in the day sliding as low as US$1,305.90, according to Bloomberg News.

Commodities in general were lifted in part by hopes that the Chinese government may seek to prop up its weakening economy.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

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:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. 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