Friday, April 27, 2012

20120427 1011 Local & Global Economy Related News.

Malaysia: Najib spending spree risks credit downgrade
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's record spending binge, aimed at shoring up support before elections that could be called as early as next month, may risk the country's first credit-rating downgrade since the Asian financial crisis 15 years ago. Standard and Poor's "might have to think about" a potential cut of Malaysia's A- rating in a few years unless the next government enacts measures to boost revenue and reduce subsidies after the vote, Mr Takahira Ogawa, an analyst at the rating company, said. (Bloomberg)

Singapore: Production falls on drugs, electronics
Singapore's industrial production fell for the second time in three months last month as electronics and pharmaceutical manufacturers decreased output. Manufacturing fell 3.4% y-o-y after a revised 11.8% gain in February. Economists had expected a 5.8% decline. From the previous month, output climbed a seasonally adjusted 2.7%. (Bloomberg)

Thailand: Exports down in March on continued Europe weakness
Thailand‟s exports fell 6.5% y-o-y in March, the fourth decline in five months, as factories struggled to resume full production after last year's flood crisis. Shipments fell in nearly all product items affected by last year's floods, with March exports valued at USD19.9bn. In particular, shipments to Europe fell 15.3% and to Japan, 3.6%. Exports to the US meanwhile rose 5.3% and to China 1.1%. (Bloomberg)

South Korea’s GDP grew 0.9% qoq in 1Q12 (0.3% in 4Q11), the fastest pace for a year. (AFP)

Spain: Ratings cut by S&P on deficit, bank bailout concern
Spain‟s sovereign credit rating was cut to BBB+ from A by Standard & Poor‟s on concern the nation will have to provide further fiscal support to the banking sector as the economy contracts. Its short-term rating was lowered to A-2 from A-1, while the outlook on the long-term rating is negative. (Bloomberg)

Italy: Business confidence drops to lowest in two years
Italian business confidence unexpectedly fell to the lowest level in more than two years in April amid concerns that the country‟s fourth recession in a decade may deepen. The manufacturing-sentiment index dropped to 89.5 from a revised 91.1 in March. Economists had predicted a reading of 92.1. (Bloomberg)

EU: Spanish, Italian bond yields climb after confidence data
Spanish and Italian bond yields climbed in light volumes Thursday, as demand for lower-rated euro-zone government debt was curbed following a survey that showed economic confidence in Europe was dwindling. The 10-year Spanish bond yield rose by seven basis points to 5.84% while the corresponding Italian bond yield increased by two basis points to 5.65%, according to Tradeweb. The weaker backdrop could pose a challenge to an Italian bond auction on Friday for up to EUR6.25bn. (Bloomberg)

The Eurozone economic sentiment indicator fell to 92.8 in Apr (94.5 in Mar), the lowest level in over a year. Manufacturer confidence also fell to -9.0 in Apr (-7.1 in Mar), whilst services confidence plunged to -2.4 from -0.3 in Mar. Consumer confidence slipped further to -19.9 (-19.1 in Mar), whilst business sentiment slumped to -0.52 from Mar’s -0.28. (Dow Jones)

US: Cooling labor market takes a toll on confidence
More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week and consumer confidence declined by the most in a year, signaling that a cooling labor market may restrain household spending. Jobless claims fell to 388,000 from a revised 389,000 the prior week that was the highest since early January while the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined to minus 35.8 from minus 31.4 the previous week. (Bloomberg)

US: Pending sales of existing homes increased 4.1% in March
Signed contracts to buy US homes rose more than forecast in March as low interest rates drew buyers back into the market. The index of pending home purchases rose 4.1% to 101.4, the highest level since April 2010, after a 0.4% gain in February that was revised from a previously estimated 0.5% drop, the National Association of Realtors reported. The median forecast of 43 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 1% rise in the measure, which tracks contracts on previously owned homes. (Bloomberg)

US stocks rise after home sales increase
US stocks rose for a third day as pending home sales increased more than forecast and technology companies rallied on better-than-estimated earnings. Metals led commodities higher, while 10-year Treasury yields approached a two-month low. The Dow rose 113.90 to close at 13,204.62 while the S&P 500 Index closed up 0.7% to 1,399.98. The S&P 500 reversed early losses as the National Association of Realtors reported that pending home purchases rose 4.1% to the highest level since April 2010, tempering concern about the economy after an earlier government report showed 388,000 Americans filed jobless claims last week, 13,000 more than the median economist estimate. (Bloomberg)

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