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90 seconds at 9 am: US, European stocks fall as global growth fears return after weak European and Chinese factory indicators; NZ$ weak at 80.8 USc
Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news that US and European stocks fell overnight as fears returned about a global growth slowdown.
This followed a surprisingly weak indication of factory orders in China. The HSBC-Markit flash PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) showed a fifth consecutive month of contraction in China and the worst month in four months. See more here at MacroBusiness.
German and French factory orders were also surprisingly weak. Job losses across Europe ran at their fastest rate since March 2010. See more here at CNBC.
US stocks were down around 0.8% in late trade, while European stocks fell 1.2% overnight for their fourth consecutive day.
FedEX shares also tumbled after the world's largest parcel carrier warned of 'sub trend' growth in parcel deliveries globally. See more here at BBC.
There are also concerns brewing again about the European debt crisis with investors looking closely at the economic contractions and big budget deficits in Portugal and Spain. Spain, which recently defied European targets for its budget deficit, is the main worry, CNBC reports.
Italian unions are also threatening a general strike against moves to liberalise labour unions. See more here at BBC.
Ireland's economy contracted too in the December quarter, reinforcing fears that concerted austerity by European governments is simply deepening the debt crisis by contracting their economies.
The New Zealand dollar stayed weak overnight around 80.8 USc overnight, having fallen as much as a cent on Wednesday afternoon after the surprisingly weak Chinese flash PMI and weaker than expected New Zealand GDP in the December quarter. See our article here on the GDP figures.