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


While you were sleeping: Mix, shake and stir

While you were sleeping: Mix, shake and stir

(BusinessDesk) December 17 - It’s almost as if investors were hoping the weekend had begun a day early.

Markets were flat to modestly higher, in line with the latest U.S. economic data which showed the labour and housing sectors were improving but remained subdued.

Initial claims fell 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 420,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday, in line with forecasts. The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, touched a fresh two-year low.

October's housing starts were revised up to a 534,000-unit pace from the previously reported 1-1/2 year low rate of 519,000 units. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected November housing starts to rise to a 550,000-unit rate.

"The data overall was good but comes with still modest hiring and inflation pressures growing," Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak + Co in New York, told Reuters.

In midday trading, Wall Street was modestly higher.

Disappointing results from FedEx Corp sent the stock lower initially, though it recovered later, gaining 2%, as investors decided to focus on the outlook.

The package-shipping company raised its full-year outlook because of strong holiday volume and an improved take on the economy. It reported quarterly profit and revenue that fell short of expectations.

Apple Inc edged 0.4% higher to US$321.74 after JPMorgan Chase & Co raised its earnings estimates and increased its price estimate to US$420 from US$400. The bank said Apple would have 61% of total tablet computer market sales in 2012.

In Europe, stocks also fluctuated as financial officials began two days of talks on the next step they would take to counter the euro zone’s debt issues.

“The markets are somewhat getting used to the idea of fiscal sustainability and the challenges in Europe,” Larry Hatheway, London-based economist and asset-allocation strategist at UBS AG, told Bloomberg Television.

As European leaders sat down in Brussels, the European Central Bank said it was going to increase its capital base by 5 billion euros to 10.76 billion euros. The decision was interpreted as a way to hedge against losses from buying debt to help bolster the balance sheets of some of the region’s governments.

There needs to be a “comprehensive” plan addressing budget and banking woes in early 2011 to curb the debt crisis, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in an interview.

When asked how much leaders would accomplish in Brussels talks this week, the IMF chief responded “not much.”

Moody’s Investors Service said it placed Greece’s Ba1 local and foreign currency government bond ratings on review for possible downgrade.

The review was prompted in part by concerns about Greece’s ability to cut debt to “sustainable levels” and a revenue shortfall this year, Moody’s said. A downgrade of multiple levels was possible, Moody’s said.

Commodity markets eased for another day even with OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel offering US$12 billion to United Co. Rusel to buy back a 25% stake held by the aluminium company. The Russian company said no.

Copper, gold and oil all slid though analysts said all three remain well supported by the slow and steady improvement in the global economy. Thin trading ahead of the holidays though could see prices drift until early in the New Year.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


RNZ: Housing Boom Could Get Worse, Economist Warns

Economists are calling on the Reserve Bank to reinstate lending restrictions, warning the housing market is spiralling out of control. More>>


Westpac: Sets Out Plan To Go Cheque-Free

Westpac NZ has announced details of its plan to phase out cheques, after signalling in May that it would be supporting a move to other forms of payment. Cheques will cease to be available as a means of payment after 25 June 2021. Westpac NZ General ... More>>


NZTA: Major New Zealand Upgrade Programme Projects Go To Tender

Two major New Zealand Upgrade Programme projects are beginning tenders for construction. The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is a $6.8 billion investment to get our cities moving, to save lives and boost productivity in growth areas. The first Auckland ... More>>

Reserve Bank: RBNZ Seeks To Preserve Benefits Of Cash

The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua is taking on a new role of steward of the cash system “to preserve the benefits of cash for all who need them”, Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby told the Royal Numismatics Society of New Zealand annual conference ... More>>


Economy: Double-Dip Recession Next Year, But Housing Rolls On

New Zealand's economy is expected to slip back into recession early next year as delayed job losses, falling consumer spending, and the absence of international tourists bites into growth. More>>


Microsoft New Zealand: Microsoft Expands “Highway To A Hundred Unicorns” Initiative To Support Startups In Asia Pacific

New Zealand, 14 October 2020 – Today Microsoft for Startups launches the Highway to a Hundred Unicorns initiative in Asia Pacific to strengthen the region’s startup ecosystem. This follows the initiative’s success in India, where 56 startups were ... More>>

Economy: NZ Small Business Recovery Continues In September

Xero, the global small business platform, today released its Small Business Insights (XSBI) for September revealing an uptick in small business jobs and year-on-year revenue growth in New Zealand. Nationwide, the average number of jobs in the small ... More>>


Courts: Businessman Eric Watson Sentenced To A Four-Month Jail Term

New Zealand businessman Eric Watson has been sentenced to a four-month jail term in the UK for contempt of court, TVNZ reports. More>>

OECD: Area Employment Rate Falls By 4.0 Percentage Points, To 64.6% In Second Quarter Of 2020

The OECD area employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – fell by 4.0 percentage points, to 64.6%, in the second quarter of 2020, its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2010. Across the OECD area, 560 million persons ... More>>

Spark: Turns On 5G In Auckland And Offers A Glimpse Into The Future Of Smart Cities

Spark turned on 5G in downtown Auckland today and has partnered with Auckland Transport (AT) to showcase some of the latest in IoT (Internet of Things) technology and demonstrate what the future could look like for Auckland’s CBD with the power of 5G. 5G is ... More>>

Stats NZ: Monthly Migration Remains Low

Since the border closed in late-March 2020, net migration has averaged about 300 a month, Stats NZ said today. In the five months from April to August 2020, overall net migration was provisionally estimated at 1,700. This was made up of a net gain ... More>>

University of Canterbury: Proglacial Lakes Are Accelerating Glacier Ice Loss

Lake Tasman, New Zealand | 2016 | Photo: Dr Jenna Sutherland Meltwater lakes that form at glacier margins cause ice to recede much further and faster compared to glaciers that terminate on land, according to a new study. But the effects of these glacial ... More>>