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

 


While you were sleeping: US equities decline

While you were sleeping: US equities decline

March 27 (BusinessDesk) – Wall Street slid amid reports showing weakness in the outlook for US business spending, renewing concern the colder-than-usual winter might have slowed the pace of recovery in the world’s largest economy after all.

In afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.28 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dipped 0.11 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.69 percent.

Declines in shares of IBM and JPMorgan Chase, last down 1.4 percent and 1.2 percent respectively, led the Dow lower.

Investors flocked to a US$35 billion auction of five-year US Treasuries. The sale’s bid-to-cover ratio, a measure of demand, was the highest since September 2012, while the notes yielded 1.715 percent, the highest since May 2011, according to Bloomberg News.

Orders for durable goods rose 2.2 percent in February, according to Commerce Department data. However, the report also showed orders for non-military capital goods excluding aircraft unexpectedly dropped 1.3 percent, raising concern about business spending plans.

"First-quarter business investment looks to be soft, and it challenges some of the optimism surrounding the idea that capital expenditures were set to advance noticeably in 2014 from their 2013 pace," Omair Sharif, senior economist at RBS in Stamford, Connecticut, told Reuters.

Separately, Markit’s preliminary, or flash, US services Purchasing Managers Index climbed to 55.5 in March, up from 53.3 last month

“Service sector activity rebounded in March after a weather-torn February, but the survey is clearly flashing some warning lights as to whether the economy has lost some underlying momentum and that growth could slow in the second quarter,” Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said in a statement.

“Even with the rebound, the two PMI surveys are merely consistent with annualised GDP growth of approximately 2.5 percent in the first quarter, largely unchanged on the disappointing 2.4 percent rate seen in the fourth quarter of last year,” Williamson said. “Perhaps the most worrying signal is that new business showed the smallest monthly rise since late-2012.”

Still, Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis James Bullard on Wednesday said the outlook for the US economy is "quite good," and that the unemployment rate will fall below 6 percent by the end of this year.

"The biggest thing is that unemployment has come down more quickly than expected," said Bullard, speaking on a panel at the annual Credit Suisse investor conference in Hong Kong, according to Reuters.

Shares of Facebook dropped, last down 5.9 percent, after the company said late Tuesday it agreed to buy Oculus VR, which makes virtual-reality headsets glasses for gaming, for US$2 billion.

“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow," Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. "Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate."

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the session 0.7 percent higher than the previous close. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.9 percent and Germany’s DAX added 1.2 percent. The UK’s FTSE 100 closed a touch higher at 6,605.30.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Export Values Down: NZ Posts Biggest Annual Trade Deficit In 7 Years

New Zealand has recorded its biggest annual trade deficit since April 2009, reflecting weaker prices of agricultural commodities such as dairy products, beef and lamb, and increased imports of vehicles and machinery. More>>

ALSO:

Currency Events: NZ's New $5 Note Wins International Banknote Award

New Zealand’s new Brighter Money $5 note has been named Banknote of the Year in a prestigious international competition. The $5 note was awarded the IBNS Banknote of the Year title at the International Bank Note Society’s annual meeting. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news