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

 

Royal Society: Review Finds Community Water Fluoridation Safe And Effective

A review of the scientific evidence for and against the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies has found that the levels of fluoridation used in New Zealand create no health risks and provide protection against tooth decay. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Croxley Calls Time On NZ Production In Face Of Cheap Imports

Croxley Stationery, whose stationery brands include Olympic, Warwick and Collins, plans to cease manufacturing in New Zealand because it has struggled to compete with lower-cost imports in a market where the printed word is giving way to electronic communications. More>>

ALSO:

Prefu Roundup: Forecasts Revised, Surplus Intact

The National government heads into the election with its Budget surplus target broadly intact, delivering a set of economic and fiscal forecasts marginally revised from May to reflect weaker commodity prices and a lower tax take. More>>

ALSO:

Convention Centre: Major New SkyCity Hotel And Laneway For Auckland

Today SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited revealed plans to build a new hotel and pedestrian laneway of bars, restaurants and boutique shopping on land it owns in the Nelson and Hobson Streets block, expanding the SKYCITY Entertainment Precinct. More>>

ALSO:

Igniting The Spark: Bringing The Digital Enabler To Life

Changing a name is, relatively speaking, the easy part of a re-invention. Changing a culture, getting all the ducks in a row, turning yourself inside-out to become customer-inspired is a much bigger challenge. More>>

ALSO:

Ebola And NZ: Targeted Screening At Airport But Risk Low

The risk of any cases of Ebola in New Zealand remains very low, but health and border authorities are well prepared... anyone arriving in New Zealand who in the last three weeks has visited countries affected will be screened for symptoms of the disease. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Brewer Seeking Crowd-Funding Cancels Shareholders’ Dividends

Shareholders in Renaissance Brewing company, the first business to seek equity through crowd-funding in New Zealand, have cancelled their claim on $147,000 of accumulated earnings “to make Renaissance a more attractive investment opportunity.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news