90 seconds at 9 am: US job market weakness contrasts with housing market improvement; Eurozone confidence down; Realestate.co.nz goes Chinese

Here's our summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am. We kick off today with mixed signals from the world’s biggest economy with worse than expected jobless figures and a separate report offering some optimism on the housing market, with the latter boosting stock markets.

Firstly, the US Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits -the number of Americans lining up for new jobless benefits - dropped by 1,000 to 388,000 last week, compared with a Reuters poll of economists that forecast new claims to fall to 375,000. This was seen by some economists as more evidence the labour market is losing traction after the US Labor Department's recent report on March non-farm payrolls showed an increase of 120,000 ending three straight months of 200,000 plus growth.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors said contracts to purchase previously owned US homes rose 4.1% to a near two-year high in March.  The Pending Home Sales Index,  a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, reached 101.4 in March, its highest level since April 2010 when it reached 111.3. The data reflects contracts but not closings.

Across the Atlantic Ocean a report from the European Commission suggested economic confidence in the struggling Eurozone fell more than expected in April. An index of executive and consumer sentiment fell to 92.8 from a revised 94.5 in March, compared with economists' forecasts for a drop to 94.2.

Concern over Spain’s debts and that country’s austerity plans helped reduce borrowing costs for Germany, which is perceived as the strongest Eurozone economy. Germany’s cost to borrow for two years dropped to as low as 0.089%. And 10-year bunds fell 6 basis points to 1.68% with Germany’s inflation rate slowing to a 14-month low.

Back in New Zealand Realestate.co.nz has launched a Chinese language version of its website to help cater for rising Chinese interest in New Zealand property. The site has been developed through a partnership with New Zealand-Chinese company HouGarden.com. It combines the full listings from Realestate.co.nz, the official website of the New Zealand real estate industry, translated into Chinese plus translated news stories covering the New Zealand economy and property news.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment or click on the "Register" link below a comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current Comment policy is here.


Bubble Bubble toil and trouble......Realestate .co.nz.,...... in the inimitable words of our Dark Leader The Big B........................................................................sigh!
What about a bit of innovation realestate.co.nz........?
Say a site in Australian....see if we can attract a few of those roo fancying ,emu eating ,dustbowl dirt munchers from out back of Bourke across the ditch to where grass is actually green and cows are not of the marrying kind.
Hell,I'll start you off with an eyegrabbing catch phrase...
Dingo Stole your Baby...? Never mind all that...!
Bugger off to New Zealand ,where men are men and sheep are nervous. 

"Back in New Zealand Realestate.co.nz has launched a Chinese language version of its website to help cater for rising Chinese interest in New Zealand property."

and down on the farm as put on AB's item;
MyFarm is party to an agreement with German fund manager, Aquila Capital Green Assets GmbH (“Aquila”), under which farm investment opportunities identified by MyFarm
(which is a key role MyFarm will be performing for MyFarmAM and therefore PDI)
are subject to Aquila’s first right of refusal ......... this came from the PDI Prospectus
AGInvest’s NZ business, MyFarm Management Ltd currently manages 44 farms in New Zealand and 3 in Australia.
if we stand in the queue with our hats on ....

Follow the munny .. This is racial discrimination ...  New Zealand law specifically prohibits racial discrimination ... does realestate.co.nz have corresponding web-sites in Rarotonga, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Niue, Pitcairn, Chathams .. it has been stated that (only) 50% of attendees at Barfoot's auctions are NOT chinese ... Interest.co.nz .. did you know it is illegal to carry promotional material that promotes racial disharmony ...

Are they promoting property up the back of the wanganui river?, or, are they largely promoting auckland property only?

Accountability is something people love to see happen to someone else.


China’s property boom has peaked, forever

S&P cuts Spain's credit rating by two notches to BBB+

Standard & Poor's cut Spain's sovereign debt rating Thursday by two notches, warning that the government's budget situation is worsening and that is likely to have to prop up its banks.

As if buying a home wasn't already out of reach to future generations of kiwis, abetting wealthy foreign investors to drive up house prices (therefore commissions) must surely be the nail in the coffin. You're right iconoclast, it is racial discrimination driven by sheer greed.