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The news stream
- Women tops in Auckland real estate 75
- 90 seconds at 9 am: American QE 66
- Wednesday's Top 10 with NZ Mint 49
- Mighty River 'myth busted' 27
- Auckland mayor lauds 'real options' 23
- Thursday's Top 10 with NZ Mint 17
- 90 seconds at 9 am: Markets spooked 15
- China meat delay resolved 10
- Poll shows opposition to LVR limits 9
- How different is Auckland from the rest of NZ? 8
90 seconds at 9 am: US durable goods orders exceed expectations; Bernanke upbeat; Gross worried; China adopts realism; cyclone closes Pilbara ports; NZ$1 = US$0.823, TWI = 75.3
Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news that orders for American durable goods climbed 1.9% in January by the most in a year and exceeding forecasts, showing companies are planning to expand capacity as they look beyond the budget impasse in Washington.
Ben Bernanke has just finished testifying at a House finance subcommittee and he was upbeat about US economic prospects and he said that from here out inflation may rise slowly.
But he also said savers can't expect great returns though until the recovery is in full swing - that is interest rates will stay low and below inflation.
PIMCO’s Bill Gross has warned that asset-price irrationality is rising after years of record low benchmark interest rates by the US Fed. The level of asset prices signal investors should be cautious and the degree of irrationality is about six on a scale of one to 10 and rising, Gross wrote in his monthly investment outlook.
In China, almost half of all provinces are setting their growth sights lower in the wake of the central government’s emphasis on the quality of expansion over speed, a sign of an increased focus on tackling rising debt.
In Europe, the political deadlock in Italy deepened, but markets are seeing this in a broader perspective although Italy's borrowing costs rose sharply - still the government sold all the bonds on offer in the first test of its ability to borrow long-term after the election.
Spain announced a reduced budget deficit, close to EU targets.
In Australia, Cyclone Rusty closed ports handling 43% of world iron-exports delaying as many as 74 vessels, and the storm may interrupt mining. It's an event that could affect the Aussie economy.
The kiwi dollar ends the month at 82.3 USc and near its lows of the year, 80.7 AUc near its low for the month, and the TWI is at 75.3 also a monthly low.
Data released yesterday by the RBNZ shows that the central bank was absent from the currency markets in January.
The Dow closed in New York today at a five year high, and just a whisker below its all-time high; US investors shrugged off EU concerns after Bernanke's testimony was interpreted as market-positive. The S&P500 also rose 1.3%.