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90 seconds at 9 am: Australia abandons surplus goal; NZ to follow?; US growth expands, manufacturing up, house sales rise; gold takes tumble; NZ$1 = US$0.833
Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news that Australia’s government said it’s unlikely to deliver a pledged budget surplus this fiscal year as weaker growth and a strong local currency reduce tax receipts.
This is a setback for Prime Minister Julia Gillard before an election that is due in late-2013.
As you will know by now, New Zealand's Q3 growth was way below expectations, and a target surplus here is looking unlikely as well.
However, growth in the US was higher than originally reported. Revised data out overnight shows that the American economy expanded by 3.1% to September, up from an expected 2.8% growth.
There is nothing to report on the fiscal cliff negotiations; they seem to have stalled for now.
Equity markets are ending the year on a stable note. Commodities are generally rising with oil up. Dairy prices were up marginally in the last Fonterra auction, but down a fraction in today's USDA report.
But gold has taken another tumble, now down to US$1,640/oz.
The NZ$ starts today pretty much unchanged at 83.3 USc, 79.6 AUc and the TWI is at 74.4.
This is our final 9am update for 2012. Merry Christmas from all of us at interest.co.nz, and we hope you have a fun holiday break. We return on Monday, January 14, 2013.