Here's our summary of key overnight news in 90 seconds at 9 am, led by news that surprising jobs data in the United States overnight has led to further frenzied speculation that the US Federal Reserve may soon start to cut back on its expansionary bond buying programme.
The number of claims for jobless benefits dropped by 15,000 to 320,000 in the week ended August 10, which is the least since October 2007.
Other figures showed consumer confidence hovered near a five-year high last week, while inflation and manufacturing figures also released were about in line with expectation. But all this sent stocks tumbling by the most since June - not helped by disappointing forecasts from Cisco and Wal-Mart.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average were both down as much as 1.4%.
In Europe Britain’s retail sales rose a more than expected 1.1%, excluding fuel, in July as a heatwave sent people running for food and alcoholic refreshment.
But the market couldn’t beat those US taper blues, with European stocks dropping the most in more than five weeks.
In signs of a Korean thaw, North Korea has reached an agreement with the South that aims to reopen the jointly operated Gaeseong industrial complex.
The complex was closed in April in the wake of ructions over the North’s nuclear programme.
And in things financial, the world’s biggest PC maker Lenovo beat forecasts with a 23% first quarter climb in net income to $173.9 million American dollars.
Also, the world’s biggest phone company by users China Mobile posted a 2.5% climb in second- quarter earnings.
Oil, gold and silver prices have rallied overnight, while the New Zealand dollar is up against the US and Australian currencies, but down slightly at 75.79 on the trade weighted index.
Locally not too much to look out for today, although banking giant ANZ’s giving a trading update.
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