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90 seconds at 9 am: US stocks fall 0.3% to end winning streak; Japanese GDP growth much weaker than forecast; NZ$ under 81 USc; StanChart in settlement talks
Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news the US stock market fell 0.3% overnight to end a 7 day winning streak, it's longest run of gains in 20 months.
Nagging concerns about a synchronised slowdown in global economic growth across Europe, Asia and the United States returned to drag on confidence. See more here at Bloomberg.
Annualised Japanese GDP growth of 1.4% in the June quarter was much weaker than the 2.3% expected by economists. Consumer spending stalled as earlier government incentives after the Tsunami faded and the economy slowed in line with weaker demand from China. See more here at Bloomberg.
Emphasising the weakness in the construction-based Chinese economy, prices for iron ore imports slumped this week to their lowest levels in 2 and a half years, Reuters reported. Our largest trading partner, Australia, is a major exporter of iron ore to China.
Meanwhile in Europe, the Greek economy contracted 6.2% in the June quarter from a year earlier, which was better than the 7% fall economists had expected. But the result reinforced the debt spiral Greece is in, whereby austerity reduces spending and the size of the economy, thus increasing the relative weight of the same debt pressing down on a smaller economy. See more here at Bloomberg.
Elsewhere, Reuters reported Standard Chartered is in settlement talks with the US regulator that accused the global bank of covering up US$250 billion of money laundering by Iran. The settlement talks came after Standard Chartered initially denied any wrongdoing and accused the regulator of being over-zealous and out of step with other regulators.
The New Zealand dollar fell to 80.9 USc overnight from over 81 USc yesterday as investors took some of their riskier assets off the table. Investors remain in Northern Hemisphere Summer mode with light volumes. Traders will be watching local retail trade data later this morning and Euro-zone GDP data later tonight.