Friday, November 23, 2012

20121123 1149 Local & Global Economy Related News.

Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM)  international reserves amounted to RM424.9bn (US$138.6bn) as of 14 Nov, up from RM423.9bn (US$138.3bn) as of 31 Oct. The reserves position was sufficient to finance 9.2 months of retained imports and is 4.2 times the short-term external debt. (BNM)

South Korea's currency authorities bought at least US$1bn worth of dollars to weaken the Korean won, according to traders, and warned of further action to put a brake on the surging currency. (WSJ)

China: Manufacturing expands in Nov
Chinese manufacturing activity improved for the first time in more than a year in November, the preliminary reading of a survey by HSBC showed Thursday. The so-called flash manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for Nov printed at 50.4 - above the 50-point threshold that separates improvement from deterioration - for the first time in 13 months. In Oct, the final reading of the HSBC China manufacturing PMI came in at 49.5. (MarketWatch)

EU: Leaders to begin spars over budget
European Union leaders fought to protect national interests in setting the bloc’s next seven-year budget, dogged by the debt crisis in the euro zone, tensions between rich and poor countries and Britain’s insistence on keeping its money-back guarantee. Starting with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the leaders trooped into EU President Herman Van Rompuy’s office for one-on-one consultations to weigh a proposed EUR1.03tn spending package for 2014-2020. (Bloomberg)

EU: Euro-zone Nov PMI points to further activity fall
Private-sector activity across the 17-nation euro zone continued to contract at a rapid pace in Nov, the preliminary Markit euro-zone composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the region showed. The index edged up to 45.8 from 45.7 in Oct, but remained well below the 50 level that indicates flat activity. (MarketWatch)

Eurozone consumer confidence slipped to -26.9 this month from a revised Oct figure of -25.7. (Reuters)

US: Housing starts highest in more than four years
Construction on new homes rose in October to the highest rate in more than four years in another sign of a strengthening US housing market. Housing starts rose 3.6% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000, the highest rate since July 2008. Starts are up 42% from last year, though the rate remains far below a bubble peak of almost 2.3m in 2006. (MarketWatch)

US: Initial jobless claims drop to 410,000
First-time applications for unemployment benefits declined sharply last week, government but the number of new claims filed remains at high levels due to the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy. Initial jobless claims dropped by 41,000 to a seasonally adjusted 410,000 in the week ended 17 Nov. (MarketWatch)

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