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

 

While you were sleeping: Wall Street pauses

While you were sleeping: Wall Street pauses

April 4 (BusinessDesk) – US equities slipped from record highs as investors awaited the government’s monthly employment data before making further bets on the American economy.

A Labor Department report today showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed by 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000 last week. The previous day ADP Research Institute data had showed US companies added 191,000 payrolls in March.

Separately, the US trade deficit unexpectedly grew in February, rising 7.7 percent to US$42.3 billion, while the Institute for Supply Management’s US non-manufacturing index increased to 53.1 in March, up from 51.6 a month earlier.

“The information we've gotten so far today is a little bit on the light side with respect to leading us towards bullishness, but not enough to make us run screaming 'sell' down the halls," Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst, Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh, told Reuters.

The government’s payrolls report is expected to show that 200,000 jobs were added last month with the jobless rate slipping to 6.6 per cent.

In afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.04 percent lower, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.20 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.87 percent.

Earlier in the session both the Dow and the S&P 500 set intraday record highs.

Gains in shares of Intel and American Express, up 1.8 percent and 0.6 percent respectively, offset declines in shares of Microsoft and Merck, down 0.9 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the day 0.1 percent higher than the previous close, as did Germany’s DAX. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4 percent. The UK’s FTSE 100 fell 0.2 percent.

The European Central Bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low 0.25 percent, as had been widely expected.

“We are resolute in our determination to maintain a high degree of monetary accommodation and to act swiftly if required,” ECB President Mario Draghi said after the meeting in a statement. “Hence, we do not exclude further monetary policy easing and we firmly reiterate that we continue to expect the key ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time.”

“The Governing Council is unanimous in its commitment to using also unconventional instruments within its mandate in order to cope effectively with risks of a too prolonged period of low inflation,” Draghi said. “The risks surrounding the economic outlook for the euro area continue to be on the downside.”

Some analysts said Draghi’s comment reflected a new urgency with regards to bolstering inflation to a higher level.

“Draghi tends to speak vaguely and just reiterate earlier speeches but he was more specific and aggressive this time round,” Steven Santos, a broker at X-Trade Brokers, told Bloomberg News. “It looks like the ECB is increasingly pondering cutting the main interest rate and that the central bank might even come up with new measures soon. Markets clearly want more intervention from Draghi.”

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Superu Report: Land Regulation Drives Auckland House Prices

Land use regulation is responsible for up to 56 per cent of the cost of an average house in Auckland according to a new research report quantifying the impact of land use regulations, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Fletcher Whittled: Fletcher Dumps Adamson In Face Of Dissatisfaction

Fletcher Building has taken the unusual step of dumping its chief executive, Mark Adamson, as the company slashed its full-year earnings guidance and flagged an impairment against Australian assets. More>>

ALSO:

No More Dog Docking: New Animal Welfare Regulations Progressed

“These 46 regulations include stock transport, farm husbandry, companion and working animals, pigs, layer hens and the way animals are accounted for in research, testing and teaching.” More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Most Kiwifruit Contractors Breaking Law

A Labour Inspectorate operation targeting the kiwifruit industry in Bay of Plenty has found the majority of labour hire contractors are breaching their obligations as employers. More>>

ALSO:

'Work Experience': Welfare Group Opposes The Warehouse Workfare

“This programme is about exploiting unemployed youth, not teaching them skills. The government are subsidising the Warehouse in the name of reducing benefit dependency,” says Vanessa Cole, spokesperson for Auckland Action Against Poverty. More>>

ALSO:

Internet Taxes: Labour To Target $600M In Unpaid Taxes From Multinationals

The Labour Party would target multinationals operating in New Zealand to ensure they don't avoid paying tax if it wins power and is targeting $600 million over three years through a "diverted profits tax," says leader Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO: