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90 seconds at 9 am: Better US factory orders and house prices drive Dow up; unhappy Cyprus cleaning up; EU economies suffering; NZ$1 = US$0.838, TWI = 76.9
Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news US stocks are up more than 0.5% in mid-day trade along with commodities after reports showed American durable-goods orders and home prices increased more than forecast. Markets shrugged off a drop in consumer sentiment. Gold has fallen below US$1,600/oz. And the uplift in equity markets follows relief the Cyprus situation seems to be behind us.
But the Cypriots have a mess to clean up. Banks will stay closed until Friday at least. The boss of the Bank of Cyprus into whom the good bits of failed Laiki Bank are being folded doesn't like the deal. He says they had no part in the forced resolution, and he wants to quit.
And there are Twitter reports this morning the the EU parliament may push for depositors with balances greater than €100K to face a forced bail-in under new resolution laws.
The euro stresses are expanding. France is reporting record levels of unemployment, and sagging consumer confidence. The Spanish central bank is not optimistic about its immediate future. And Britain faces a very weak manufacturing sector - and that's despite a weak British currency which is close to its lowest ever against the NZ$.
Things are better in China however. Their largest banks posted a decline in bad-loan ratios for 2012 signaling policy makers may have averted a surge in defaults. And bellwether manufacturer Foxconn has reported record earnings.
Also interesting is that Warren Buffett has beat Goldman Sachs at its own game, and has emerged as one of its biggest shareholders.
In Australia, the government there confirmed yesterday's reports that it will raise taxes and claims on their superannuation system.
And data out in New Zealand today will show whether the Reserve Bank intervened in the currency markets in February. It seems unlikely. We also get important business confidence data today, and another look at home loan approvals.
The kiwi dollar starts today higher at 83.8 USc, 80.0 AUc, and the TWI is up at 76.9 on a weaker euro and pound.