90 seconds at 9 am: US stocks stronger, Eurostoxx rise 2.8% on Fiscal Cliff hopes and Greek deal talks; NZ$ rises to near 82 USc as NZ services sector expands

Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news US stocks were around 1.3% higher in late trade and European stocks rallied 2.8% overnight on hope America could resolve its 'Fiscal Cliff' problem.

Democrats, who control the White House and Senate, need to agree a deal with Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, to stop the US government going over the 'Fiscal Cliff' on January 1. Without a deal, the US government would increase taxes and cut spending to the tune of 4% of GDP, driving the world's economy back into recession.

However, US President Barack Obama said overnight he was confident a deal could be reached and Republican leader John Boehner has said he would accept some limited tax increases, which has previously been a no-go area for the Republicans.

Also, US existing home sales were stronger than expected and US house builder confidence was strong. See more here at Bloomberg.

In Europe, ministers are due to meet in Paris later today to discuss a deal to ensure Greece does not default on its debt and exit the euro, reassuring some who had been worried earlier in the week about yet more 'Grexit' turmoil on European markets. See more here from Bloomberg.

Closer to home, the New Zealand dollar rose to almost 82 USc overnight from 81.4 USc yesterday as appetites for riskier assets such as the New Zealand dollar firmed.

Traders also took heart from signs of expansion in New Zealand's services sector in BNZ PMI data out yesterday. This sector makes up around 60% of the New Zealand economy and suggests record low interest rates and a surge in housing market activity may be boosting the domestic economy.

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?

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Investment Falls Off a Cliff

U.S. Companies Cut Spending Plans Amid Fiscal and Economic Uncertainty

Unfortunately there is more interest in speculation and wealth preservation.  The current situation an unintended consequence of the "bail-out" policies.

Miami is booming like never before... The Fiscal Cliff will become a sliperry slope... Positive surprises coming out of China... Manufacturing is making a come back in the USA... Now, that one I am glad for. I am sick of low quality tools and cheap stuff coming out of China! 
And the cherry on top is Shale Oil and Gas. The spread between WTI and Brent will get wider. And then there is the oil reserves in Alaska...
Auckland real estate is on the march, upwards; the rest of NZ will follow!
Good times are nigh!

Good posting Scarfie,
As long as oil stay above $60 per barrel, these fileds are viable for production. The converse of course is, oil will not drop bellow this price. Not even the Saudis can produce enough crude to bring the price down bellow this level, and that is assuming they would want to, a very unlikkely scenario since they requiere the price to be $125 per barrel by 2015 in order to support the financial position. Ouchie, double ouchie. Those shiekks are going to be hurting.

the night is always darker before the dawn etc.

Right on! The sun is about to rise!

Which financial planet are economic reporters living on?  Even if the US avoids the fiscal cliff this time the US Gov't will still be running US$1+ trillion deficits for the foreseeable future.  When will US bond buyers eventually realise that the only way they will get their money back is in vastly depreciated dollars.  Ignoring reality doesn't help the situation.

You're correct AR, heavily depreciated dollars will be what they get back. But where else are they to put their money? They are not trying the get the "Belle of the ball," but the least ugly!
Aussie and NZ markets are very shallow in comparison. Singapore, HK, Japan, and Korea may not be bad choices, but hey are not the USA. Besides, how many house can one own before beeing too exposed to property? A very iliquid market, indeed!
We all know it's a ruse, but unfortunatelly it is the only game in town!

Sounds like it's all fixed.
I need to go buy some houses...

In Europe, ministers are due to meet in Paris later today to discuss a deal to ensure Greece does not default on its debt and exit the euro ..
There is no scenario where Greece does not default on some debt in the future.  The policy decision is how long to leave them on this odd life support situation, which is tied to the stability of the rest of Europre.  When the collateral damage is deemed to be acceptable I think we will see Greece ejected.

The Germans wont allow inflation certainly not 5%+  Without that and with a common currency  the likes of spain face wage deflation...which is reflected in their massive un-employment and thats looking like 20 years +.....I cant see that happening...
I dont see the conext of inflation v  (or with) investment....there is right now excess capacity so putting more in makes no sense.
What you line should say IMHO is allow inflation or the break up of the EU....
ergo we will see exits from the EU and defaults....

"higher excess baggage fees from next week," herald...thankyou Air NZ....you carry on with the farce of charging the same regardless of whether it's for a huge 200kilo slab  or a wee 65kilo slice of Kiwi.....nothing beats idiotic pricing...Yes you could weigh passenger plus luggage...but that would mean you would have to actually do something to bring pricing justice into air travel...and we cannot have that can we..not when the bloated salaries or AirNZ bosses are more important.

I assume the luggage weighs the same in both your scenarios above.

Wolly's  point s valid though....If I weigh 70kg and have 20kg of baggage, im 90kg all up for my ticket...
Im in 90kg and 20kg same price, if im 60kg and have 22kg Im stung, that I think isnt fair...
Which is a small reason why I refuse to fly (AGW is the main one)...I hate being ripped off and this excess baggage crap is just one of them....Air NZ should consider that ripping the customer a new one over a few KG damages their look.....but then fat business men who fly frequently dont carry much luggage....

Hitting below the belt, Steve. Applying logic to prices, are you accusing Wolly of being some kind of socialist or something? Of course as you say it makes sense, and sensible people can understand that, but that kind of thing ain't going to sell to many airline tickets now is it.

I must say it can bug one. I flew down from AKL to Npr and ended up in the window seat with a lovely but  rather large lady beside me, with no arm rest she managed to get in beside me, I had to remind Air NZ in NPR that I had paid for a seat and would appreciate getting the whole seat next time.