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90 seconds at 9 am: US factory orders strong; stocks rise; gold falls; Iceland wins; ICBC stake being sold; anger at milk taint taunt; NZ$1 = US$0.830, TWI - 74.8
Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news that in the US orders for durable goods rose in December for a fourth consecutive month. Meanwhile a closely watched gauge of business investment also rose. Both indicate that American manufacturing output will keep improving in early 2013. This data underpinned a rise in the US dollar this morning, a rise in the Dow, and a fall in the gold price.
The news buoyed markets internationally with the FTSE100 at its highest in five years.
In Europe a Brussels court has ruled that Iceland did not break European free trade laws on deposit guarantee schemes by refusing to compensate Dutch or British depositors after Icesave’s owner, Lansbanki, collapsed in 2008.
The judgment removes any hope either government had of pursuing the Icelandic government for interest on their respective local bail-outs. It also raises serious questions about Europe’s cross-border banking arrangements, which allow overseas lenders to “passport” into a country without being subjected to local financial regulation.
In China, there was news that Goldman Sachs is poised to sell its stake in the world's largest bank, the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China. This is the bank that recently showed an interest in gaining a New Zealand banking license.
In car news, Toyota retook the title of world's largest auto maker, beating out General Motors and Volkswagen. Toyota's 2012 global sales rose 23% to 9.75 million vehicles.
There has been a spread of talk internationally about the DCD milk tainting issue. Fonterra has accused the Labour party of making 'drastic' claims that undermine its trading position. It seems there is a European standard for the fertiliser additive and that the sample found last year came in at 100 times below that standard.
The New Zealand dollar starts today sharply lower at 83.0 USc, 79.9 AUc, with the TWI down to 74.8.